(CNSNews.com) - Texas Governor George Bush is using fresh ammunition from the Congressional Budget Office to fire back at Republican and Democratic critics of his tax cut proposal.
The Republican presidential frontrunner said Tuesday night that a revised CBO report on the budget surplus strengthens his argument for cutting taxes, a proposal that's been called a "risky tax cut scheme" by Vice President Al Gore and been targeted by Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Bush's rival for the GOP presidential nomination.
The revised budget figures, scheduled to be released Wednesday, will project a surplus of $4.2 trillion between 2001 and 2010, based on tax revenues of almost $25 trillion during the same time frame.
In explaining how he would use the surplus, Bush said "roughly half will be will be preserved for Social Security under my plan," with approximately $1 trillion available for tax relief and another trillion dollars to pay for "other priorities, including debt reduction."
While there is a clear distinction between Bush and Gore on the issue of lower taxes - Gore has proposed no tax cut - the difference is less clear when compared with McCain, who's also campaigning in part on a pledge to cut taxes.
The issue has resulting in the candidates trading accusations of negative campaigning as each camp dissects the proposal of the other. Bush promises a larger tax cut than McCain, and the Texas governor said the size of the surplus predicted by the CBO proves his plan is doable.
"With (surplus tax) money in Washington, you can either send it back to the taxpayers, or you can leave it around Washington where it's going to be spent on more programs," Bush said in a statement.