Press Release
Wednesday, March 19, 1997

WASHINGTON -- The Concord Coalition today praised members of both parties in Congress who have expressed support for separating the critical task of balancing the budget from the politically-charged issue of tax cuts.

"As we have witnessed over the past two years, demanding that tax cuts be included in a budget resolution is the surest way to kill any chance we have of reaching a balanced budget," said Concord Co-Chair Warren Rudman. "There will be plenty of time to discuss the feasibility of tax cuts after the budget has been balanced. Our first obligation is to stop borrowing from our children to finance today's consumption."

"Major tax cuts that take effect before the budget is balanced will only make our long-term predicament that much worse," said Concord National Policy Chair and former Rep. Tim Penny (D-Minn.). "Instead of a tax cut, we should be concentrating on our most important, and difficult task -- putting our largest entitlement programs on a path that the nation can afford in the coming decades."

"Insisting on tax cuts turns a balanced budget plan into a lose-lose deal," said Concord Executive Director Martha Phillips. "Tax cuts make it necessary to cut spending far deeper than even most conservative legislators are willing to defend. This would sink the deficit reduction effort and make future efforts to lower taxes much less feasible and affordable."

Phillips said special interest groups that are pushing legislators to include a tax cut in the budget resolution should reconsider the long-term impact of their effort on American families.

"The bottom line is that by insisting on a tax cut to help families in the short run, special interest groups are jeopardizing families' chances of enjoying the lower interest rates and increased economic growth that a balanced budget plan would yield in the future," Phillips added. "A balanced budget will yield a much greater fiscal dividend than a tax cut over a longer period of time."

Phillips said the Coalition plans to mobilize its nationwide grassroots network of volunteers during the Spring Congressional recess to encourage more legislators to separate the two issues. The Concord Coalition has more than 170,000 members nationwide, in nearly every Congressional district.