Gov. Mario M. Cuomo on Saturday criticized comments attributed to President Reagan's communications director, Patrick J. Buchanan, who reportedly said at a White House briefing that the Administration's tax reform program would hurt what he called "Neo-Socialist" state governments that levy high taxes to "redistribute wealth."
Buchanan, appearing at a session with a group of economic writers Friday, also said that a goal of the Reagan tax reform plan is to tilt the tax system in favor of "traditional" families in which the husband works outside the home and the wife takes care of the children, according to a report published Saturday in the Albany Times-Union.
"Using the tax plan to 'keep women at home where they belong' is unworthy of the White House," said Cuomo, a Democrat who has been a leading opponent of Reagan's proposal.
A Cuomo spokesman, Gary Fryer, said that he contacted the White House press office Saturday to check the newspaper's account. Fryer said he was told that the White House would have no comment but that a press officer did not deny the statements.
Reagan, referring to his proposed elimination of the deduction of state and local taxes from federal bills, was quoted as saying at the briefing: "Perhaps, if the high-tax states didn't have this crutch, they might have to cut their taxes."
Such assertions, Cuomo said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press, imply that there is "no need for education, for housing, for police, for roads, for hospitals, for nurses to care for children."
Cuomo, who is to testify Monday before the House Ways and Means Committee on Reagan's tax reform plan, said that the President is caught in a contradiction between his tax reform ideas and the so-called "new federalism" of his first term, in which he moved to transfer decisions from the federal government to the states.