January 06,1999

Roth: Increased Surplus Should Bring Tax Cuts and Personal Savings Account

Calls for Change in Budget Rules to Favor Tax Cuts

WASHINGTON -- The following is the statement of Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE):

"Today's announcement of increased federal budget surplus numbers is good news for all working Americans. With continued growth in budget savings -- an estimated $76 billion in 1999, on top of last year's surplus of $67 billion -- we should dedicate this surplus to working Americans through tax cuts and the creation of personal savings accounts for retirement, as well as saving Social Security.

"President Clinton has said that the surplus should be set aside for Social Security. Yet, he spent much of last year's surplus, and none of it was put aside for Social Security. We should not let that happen again. Now his Administration is talking about increasing taxes again, despite the fact that Americans continue to suffer from the highest tax burden since WWII.

"While the economy is strong and we have a surplus, we should seize the opportunity to enact broad-based tax relief. We should also dedicate a portion of the surplus to the creation of personal savings accounts, modeled after the Thrift Savings Plan that is currently availiable to Members of Congress and federal employees. These accounts could be an interim step while we consider the choices we face in saving and reforming Social Security.

"One of our first orders of business should be to change the Senate budget rules to remove the bias against tax cuts. We should be able to return the surplus to the working Americans who created it."