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George Bush maintains, along with some scholars, that buried in the wording of the Constitution is authority for the president to veto particular items in bills. Dozens of governors have such line-item veto power. Bush has said he'll test his when the right occasion comes.

He should be inspired by the example of Gov. Mario Cuomo of New York, who got his legislature's attention the other day by axing almost $1 billion worth of spending the lawmakers had added to his budget. Cuomo said the cuts brought the $52 billion budget into balance.A comparable cut from Washington's $1.4 trillion budget would be around $27 billion. That's real money. Bush, whose vetoes have never been overridden by Congress, should give it a try.