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12A , THE PALM BEACH POST FRIDAY, DECEMBER 5, 1997 Clinton weighing tax cut tiosi Ss h Tradi talis in next year's budget plan Sutter. do? Oread a I The Dresirient ?av; a FBI Director Louis Freeh's objections to curtailing the fund-raising investigation would not undercut Attorney General Janet Reno's credibility. 'She did what she had to do based on her reading of the law,' President Clinton said. 'And everybody knows that she is an independent-minded person.' -J- ; M Many Of Our People fire Starving M Elnonledge. tax cut must be fair to taxpayers and good for the economy and Should simplify federal fex code. The New York Times WASHINGTON President Clinton said Thursday that he was weighing a tax cut as part of next year's budget proposal but warned against the temptation of spending a budget surplus that does not yet exist Clinton set guidelines for fairness and economic soundness that any tax cut would have to meet to win his support. His staff members suggested that Republican proposals for a national sales tax or flat income tax fell short of the president's standards. Clinton has been meeting with Republican leaders as well as his own staff to explore proposals ranging from a comprehensive overhaul of the American tax system to targeted tax incentives designed to advance his policy goals, including programs for workers and communities damaged by foreign trade. The president said that he would consider proposing a tax-cutting measure next year if he were convinced that it was fair to average taxpayers, good for the economy and would lead to a simpler federal tax code. But he said he has not yet decided whether to propose a tax cut, or, if he did, what it might look like. The president reviewed the past year and looked ahead to the remainder of his term in a 30-minute interview in his office Thursday with The New York Times. Clinton glanced occasionally at a page of hand-written talking points. The president also gave a strong signal that he is prepared to flout Senate Republican objections and use his constitutional power to appoint Bill Lann Lee to be the Justice Department's top civil rights officer while the Senate is in recess. Our grandmothers may have baked their own challah to welcome the Sabbath every Friday night. Our mothers might have bought it at the kosher bakery. Now, it's up to us to keep the rich flavor of Jewish life on the menu for the next generation. Without Jewish education, our Jewish future is at risk. By teaching our young families and children the meaning and the joys of Jewish life, we can bring them to the table and sustain our Jewish family for generations to come. Our tradition is helping Jews in need, wherever they may be. It's a tradition we urgently need to act on. Now more than ever. Your gift to the FederationUJA Annual Campaign provides critical humanitarian aid to Jews in need everywhere. We heal the world one year at a time. Be a part of the healing in 1998. FederationUJA Annual Campaign (561) 478-0700, extension 106 The president said that he was "really disappointed" by the Senate's refusal last month to confirm Lee, a California civil liberties lawyer of Asian descent. "I think they made a terrible mistake," Clinton said. "I don't even think it makes political sense for them." He repeated his determination to see Lee placed in the Justice Department post by any means necessary. A senior White House aide said on Thursday night that Lee was willing to accept a so-called recess appointment that would give him the job for the next year while the White House continued to lobby for his confirmation. The aide said that Clinton was ready to make the appointment as early as next week if he could not win a commitment from Sen. Trent Lott, the majority leader, to bring Lee's nomination up for a yes-or-no vote when the Senate returns in January. The Senate left town last month without acting on Lee's nomination after Republicans declared his views on affirmative action programs to be unacceptable. Senior Republican leaders in the Senate have warned that a recess appointment would profoundly damage relations between Congress and the White House and make it virtually impossible for Lee to carry out his duties. Clinton also spoke for the first time about the dissent by Louis Freeh, the director of the FBI, to the decision this week by Attorney General Janet Reno not to seek an independent counsel to investigate fund-raising tele phone calls by the president and vice president Clinton said that Freeh's objections to curtailing the fund-raising investigation would not undercut the attorney general's credibility. "She did what she had to do based on her reading of the law," Clinton said. "And everybody knows that she is an independent-minded person." He added that he hoped that removing the threat of a years-long independent counsel investigation would prove a spur to Congress to act on campaign finance reform legislation. Clinton spoke at some length about the possibility of a tax cut as part of his budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning next Oct 1. He said that he met for more than an hour earlier this week with Rep. Bill Archer, R-Texas, chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, to discuss what form an administration tax plan might take. Archer made his case for replacing the current complex, progressive income tax code with a national sales tax that would eliminate virtually all of the Internal Revenue Service's tax-collection duties. Clinton was noncommital about Archer's proposal. The president said he did not want to raise "false expectations" about a sweeping revision of the nation's tax-collection system. 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