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Tea Party Time At The GOP

Americans pay too many taxes and Washington has too much money, Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., said Saturday.

In Saturday's weekly Republican radio address, Lott touted the party's "First Things First" plan, which aims to protect Medicare and Social Security, pay down the national debt and reduce taxes.

"That plan is not a gimmick assembled by political consultants," Lott said. "It's just the way my own parents did our family budget at the kitchen table."

Lott used the Fourth of July holiday and talk of the Boston Tea Party to cite how modern Americans are "intolerably overtaxed."

The GOP leader appealed to President Clinton not to veto bills repealing the inheritance tax and the "marriage penalty" tax, which the Senate is expected to take up in the next few weeks. Versions of both initiatives have already passed the House.

The remaining budget surplus should go mainly toward shrinking the national debt, Lott said.

"Since we first balanced the budget three years ago, congressional Republicans have paid back $150 billion on the debt," he said. "This year, we propose another $175 billion paydown."

Lott chastised President Clinton and congressional Democrats for introducing new spending programs.

"You know, in most respects, we've come a long way from the days of the Revolution," Lott said. "But in some ways, we're remarkably similar to those earlier Americans - overtaxed by a distant government headed by someone who seems not to care about their burdens."

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