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The package of tax proposals, led by the 50 percent cut in the individual tax on dividends, had been all but buried before the midterm elections; it came up infrequently and always in the past tense¨what George W. Bush wanted to do but couldn't afford.
But after the Republicans won the midterms, O'Neill could sense a change in the White House, a smugness, a sureness. Now Cheney brought up the tax proposals again, how they would provide stimulus....
OĂNeill jumped in, arguing sharply how the government was ""moving toward a fiscal crisis"" and ""what rising deficits would mean to our economic soundness.""
Cheney cut him off.
˘Reagan proved deficits donĂt matter,÷ Cheney said.
OĂNeill shook his head, hardly believing that Cheney¨whom he and Greenspan had known since Dick was a kid¨could say such a thing.
He was speechless. Cheney moved to fill the void. ˘We won the midterms,÷ he said. ˘This is our due.÷
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