NATIONAL TAXPAYER WATCHDOG GROUP URGES PRESIDENT TO WIELD LINE-ITEM VETO PEN

For Immediate Release    Contact:  Jim Campi
August 8, 1997 (202) 467-5300

 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today urged President Bill Clinton to wield his new line-item veto pen for the first time, and eliminate special interest tax breaks in the balanced budget agreement.

“The new line-item veto law gives the President unprecedented power to cut wasteful spending and eliminate corporate welfare tax breaks,” remarked CCAGW President Thomas A. Schatz.  “I applaud the President for his willingness to stand up to corporate fat cats and use the new law to save taxpayer’s money.”

In appearances earlier this week on CNNfn and CBS Radio, as well as on his nationally-syndicated MoneyTrackers daily commentary (on the Talk America Radio Network), Schatz urged the President to line-item veto several special interest tax provisions in the balanced budget agreement.  In particular, Schatz recommended elimination of:

  • A tax break for hard cider makers.  This provision would decrease taxes on hard cider from $1.07 per gallon to 22.6 cents per gallon and cost the Treasury $3 million over five years.
  • A tax deferral for the sale of sugar beet processing facilities.  This provision will give Texas billionaire Harold Simmons a $63 million tax break.  The overall cost would be $104 million over ten years.
  • A tax deduction for county officials.  This provision allows county clerks and sheriffs from 34 states to deduct more of their business expenses, and is expected to cost $27 million over five years.
  • A tax refund for Amtrak.  This provision gives Amtrak a $2.3 billion tax refund over five years for payments made by the defunct railroads that became Amtrak 26 years ago.

According to published reports, President Clinton plans to adopt all four of these recommendations, along with an additional item that would give estate tax breaks to the heirs of Texas-based Sammons Enterprises.

“I am extremely pleased the President agreed to adopt several CCAGW recommendations,” commented Schatz.  “When the appropriations process resumes in September, CCAGW plans to keep the public and the administration informed of further opportunities for the wise use of the line-item veto through its Pork Patrol newsletter.”

CCAGW is a 600,000 member lobbying organization dedicated to seeking enactment of legislation to eliminate waste, inefficiency, mismanagement and abuse in the federal government.

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