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Gingrich: Lower Capital-Gains Tax

April 25, 1998

SMYRNA, Ga. (AP) _ House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Saturday he has drafted a proposal to make deeper cuts in the capital gains tax, furthering reductions passed by Congress last year.

Gingrich’s bill would lower to 15 percent the maximum capital gains rate of 20 percent, the Georgia Republican told a conference of investors, eliciting loud applause.

``My reasoning’s simple _ we’ll raise more money. It’s an objective fact,″ Gingrich said.

Capital gains are the profits from the sale of investments, such as stocks, bonds or property.

Gingrich said his proposal would encourage more taxpayers to cash in their investments, increasing tax revenues overall despite the lower rate.

``The liberals may hate it, they may scream class warfare,″ he said. ``But it’s fairly stupid to yell `tax the rich’ if you get less taxes by taxing the rich than you get if you don’t tax them.″

Tax cuts passed last year reduced the maximum capital gains rate from 28 percent to 20 percent.

Gingrich also accused President Clinton of sending a limp anti-drug message for saying needle-exchange programs could help prevent the spread of HIV.

The White House decided this week against spending federal money on anti-AIDS programs that distribute clean needles to addicts. But the administration said that science shows the controversial programs do not increase drug use.

``So the president’s position courageously is, `Well, I think it’s a good idea, but we won’t pay for it.′ Think about that as a profile in courage,″ Gingrich said.

``...It is not a public health policy to have a clean needle while you destroy yourself,″ he said. ``It is a surrender.″

Gingrich said the government should instead coordinate with churches and other groups to set up 24-hour hotlines addicts could call to receive immediate help from volunteers.

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