March 1 — On Capitol Hill, Democrats unveil their budget plan, calling for a smaller tax cut than the one proposed by the president and higher spending on education, Medicare and other programs. "Unlike the president's plan, which includes huge tax cuts and little else, our plan cuts taxes and funds our nation's most important priorities," says Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D.
March 2 — Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says for the second time in five weeks that growing budget surplus projections do leave room for a substantial tax cut, but he also issues a warning. "With today's euphoria surrounding the surpluses," he tells Congress, "we need to resist those policies that could readily resurrect the deficits of the past."
March 3 — In his weekly radio address, the president urges Americans to contact elected officials and express support for the administration's proposal to trim federal income tax rolls by $1.6 trillion over the next decade. "I hope you'll send a message in favor of tax relief to your congressman and your senator," he says. "After all, the surplus is your money."
March 4 — HONORING A REPUBLICAN ICON: President and first lady Laura Bush head to Newport News, Va., to attend the christening ceremony for an aircraft carrier named after former President Ronald Reagan, who is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. "All of us here wish the ship Ronald Reagan Godspeed," says the commander in chief. "And we wish Ronald Reagan God's blessings."
March 5 — Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart disease, is hospitalized in Washington and undergoes an "urgent" angioplasty to clear a blocked artery. A student at a high school in Santee, Calif., allegedly kills two and wounds 13 in a shooting rampage. "Our prayers go out to the parents and the teachers and the children whose lives have been completely turned upside down," says Bush.
March 6 — CHENEY HEART ATTACK SCARE: Bush heads to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to talk up his proposal to slash marginal income tax rates across all levels of income. "We're sending a loud and clear message that the entrepreneurial spirit will be reinvigorated as we head into the 21st century," he says. Referring to the economic downturn, the president says, "The great boom is beginning to sputter a little bit."
March 7 — SHORING UP KOREAN TIES: At his first meeting with South Korean President Kim Dae Jung signals he will not immediately continue arms control negotiations with North Korea. "I was forthright in describing … my skepticism about whether or not we can verify an agreement in a country that doesn't enjoy the freedoms that our two countries understand," Bush says in a joint news conference in the Rose Garden.
March 8 — The House votes 230-198 to cut income tax rates across the board — a key component of Bush's overall tax plan. The vote is seen as an important legislative victory for the president, but Democrats — only 10 of whom voted for the bill — complain Republicans ignored their concerns. "It's killed bipartisanship," says House Minority Leader Rep. Richard Gephardt, D-Mo.