Third Debate Transcript: Page 5

ByABC News
October 17, 2000, 4:21 PM

Oct. 17 --

LEHRER: Vice President Gore, is the governor right when he saysthat youre proposing the largest federal spending in years?

GORE: Absolutely not, absolutely not. Im so glad that I have achance to knock that down.

Look, the problem is that under Governor Bushs plan, $1.6trillion tax cut mostly to the wealthy. Under his own budget numbers,he proposes spending more money for a tax cut just for the wealthiest1 percent than all of the new money that he budgets for education,health care and national defense combined.

Now, under my plan, we will balance the budget every year. Imnot just saying this. Im not just talking. I have helped to balancethe budget for the first time in 30 years, pay down the debt.

And under my plan, in four years, as a percentage of our grossdomestic product, federal spending will be the smallest that it hasbeen in 50 years. One reason is you know, the third biggestspending item in our budget is interest on the national debt. We getnothing for it. We keep the good faith and credit of the UnitedStates.

I will pay down the debt every single year, until it iseliminated early in the next decade. That gets rid of the thirdbiggest intrusion of the federal government in our economy.

Now, because the governor has all this money for a tax cut,mostly to the wealthy, there is no money left over, so schools gettesting and a lawsuit reform, and not much else.

LEHRER: Governor, the vice president says youre wrong.

BUSH: Well, hes wrong.


Just add up all the numbers; its three times bigger than whatPresident Clinton proposed. The Senate Budget Committee

LEHRER: Three times excuse me, three times

BUSH: Bigger than what President Clinton proposed

GORE: Thats in an ad Jim that was knocked down by thejournalists who analyzed the ad an said it was misleading.