Bob Dole will propose repealing the 1993 tax increase sponsored by President Clinton and making Social Security payroll levies tax-deductible, Dole advisers and GOP officials said Saturday.
But Dole, who was to unveil his $550 billion economic plan on Monday in Chicago, was expected to stop short of either recommending an immediate across-the-board tax cut of up to 15 percent - as many advisers had recommended - or proposing a repeal of the 1990 tax increase, as he had earlier considered.That would have posed political difficulties because Dole, who was Senate GOP leader at the time, voted for the increase himself.
Still, Dole was holding open the possibility of going further, and those pressing for an across-the-board tax cut were said to be making a last-ditch effort late Saturday to persuade Dole to change his mind.
However, other sources close to the deliberations said Dole had already signed off on the central elements of his plan and was just hearing rival views as a courtesy.
His proposals - although scaled back from earlier versions - would still cost between $500 and $550 billion over the next six years.
The six-year time frame is relevant because of GOP plans to balance the federal budget by 2002 - a target Dole claims his plan will meet.
Dole was expected to propose paying for them with an array of spending cuts, selling off some government assets, efficiencies at the Internal Revenue Service, and by assuming increased revenues from a stimulated economy.
Dole's plan will assert that $50 billion will be raised by economic growth resulting directly from his tax cut, the sources said.
The Clinton-Gore campaign responded quickly.
"Bob Dole is pursuing a reckless policy that will balloon the deficit and reverse the economic progress we've made over the past 31/2 years," said Clinton-Gore campaign press secretary Joe Lockhart.
Making Social Security taxes deductible from gross income would amount to a tax cut of just under $400 to the average family earning $40,000 a year.
Repealing the 1993 tax increase would return the maximum tax rate to 31 percent. It is currently 39.6 percent.