Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan told a Senate hearing today the nation could afford a tax cut while continuing to pay down the national debt. Democrat Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he, too, would favor a tax cut, but the plan proposed by the new republican President is too broad to win his favor.Harkin plans to introduce legislation today that would provide tax breaks for low and middle-income people who’ve been especially hard-hit by high utility bills. He says that’s an example of a targeted tax cut, but he can’t support a cut that would benefit everyone, including the very rich.Greenspan is testifying today before the Senate Budget Committee. He says a tax cut could help the economy, which has shown signs of slowing down. Greenspan says there’s so much money rolling into government coffers, taxes can be cut without slowing down efforts to pay off the national debt.Embattled U-S Attorney General-nominee John Ashcroft will likely -not- get the endorsement of Harkin. Harkin says he’s hearing “more and more” negative reports about Ashcroft every day. Harkin also is looking more closely at Interior Secretary-nominee Gale Norton.When she was Colorado’s Attorney General, Norton reportedly said putting ramps on the state capitol to give access to the disabled would be an “ugly thing.” Harkin, who authored the Americans With Disabilities Act, takes particular exception to Norton’s alleged comments.Norton on Wednesday won the endorsement of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, clearing the way for her confirmation next week by the full Senate.
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