Democratic presidential candidate Dick Gephardt is accusing rival Howard Dean of making the wrong budget-cutting choices. Gephardt says while Dean was Governor of Vermont in the mid-90s, he balanced that state’s budget by making cuts in programs for the blind and disabled, as well as cuts in medical services to the poor and the elderly. Gephardt, who is a Missouri Congressman, says when policymakers at the federal level faced a similar deficit situation in the ’90s, they raised taxes on the wealthiest Americans, raised the minimum wage and made investments that sparked an economic turn-around. Dean responded to Gephardt’s attack during a campaign rally in Des Moines. Dean says he gets tired of his competitors saying he cut things in the Vermont budget. Dean says “the truth is while those guys were sitting around Washington twiddling their thumbs” he was pushing through legislation which gave one-third of Vermont’s seniors prescription drug coverage.
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