Gore: Bush's Tax Cut an Economic 'Illusion'

BOSTON--In an address to 130 core Democratic fundraisers last night, Vice President Al Gore '69 returned to his favorite line of attack against his Republican rival, George W. Bush, calling the Texas governor's tax cut an economic "illusion."

Mixing new rhetoric about Republican economic values into his standard stump speech, Gore cast his opponent's plan in extreme terms, saying Bush's tax cut would either erase the federal budget surplus or take money away from needed social programs.

He said Americans were wise to such "risky tax schemes," which Gore branded "the politics of illusion."

When Ronald Reagan proposed tax cuts and increases in defense spending in the 1980s, Gore said, "confidence in America's stewardship and self-governance was lost." He said foreign investors began to look elsewhere for growth opportunities and domestic business owners could not do much to expand their businesses.

Bush's "two trillion dollar" tax cut plan would similarly "undermine confidence, instantly increase interest rates and take us back to deficit spending," Gore said.

In the past, Bush advisers have accused the vice president of rewriting economic history. Though Gore back then voted against most Reagan-sponsored economic measures, many of his Democratic colleagues did not, supporting, they said, the sound fundamentals of tax cuts.

Most of the speech adhered to Gore's normal campaign event script.

Invoking Monday's deadly shooting at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., Gore accused Bush of pandering to the pro-gun lobby. "What does it take?" Gore asked to applause.