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Tax-Cut Plan Shortsighted, Harman Says

TIMES STAFF WRITER

POLITICAL REALITIES: Rep. Jane Harman(D-Rolling Hills) said that she might not support any of the middle-income tax cuts proposed by President Clinton and congressional leaders because she fears that such a move could be a “short-term fix” that would endanger deficit reduction.

“I want to assess what the costs are and who really benefits,” Harman said this week in an informal press conference in Santa Monica. “I think deficit reduction would benefit more middle-income people than would an extremely modest tax cut. . . . A much lower deficit, which would lead to lower interest rates, might be a much greater stimulus for the economy.”

Harman has long called herself a fiscal conservative. She supports a balanced budget amendment, and called on Congress to consider establishing a flat tax. She recently voted with Republicans on a bill that requires a three-fifths majority for all new income-tax hikes.

But a vote against any middle-class tax cut might be independent of both parties. GOP and Democratic leaders have each proposed tax cuts, as has President Clinton.

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“I think the whole direction that both parties are taking there is questionable,” Harman said. “It’s an effort to connect with anxious voters with a very short-term fix. . . . I think the notion of a middle-income tax cut seems to be popular, but it hasn’t been completely thought through.”

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TESTING THE WATERS: Former Palos Verdes Estates Councilman Ron Florance is thinking of running for Harman’s 36th Congressional District seat in 1996, according to political observers. Florance ran for the seat in last year’s Republican primary, but lost to Rancho Palos Verdes Councilwoman Susan Brooks.

Meanwhile, Brooks’ former campaign manager, John Perkins, said he might run for Assemblywoman Doris Allen’s 67th District seat, which includes Seal Beach and Huntington Beach.

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Allen is running in a special Orange County state Senate district election in March. Under term limits, she cannot run again for her Assembly seat when her term is up next year.


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