Students lobby Congress

GW students marched into congressional offices Friday to respond to President Clinton’s veto of the Republican’s $792 billion tax cut bill Thursday.

The 10 students carried 535 envelopes containing GW economics Professor Robert Dunn’s tax plan, which was printed in The Washington Post Aug. 20 and called for a smaller, less complicated tax cut bill that lacks special interest provisions.

Students who distributed the envelopes wanted to “get involved in government,” freshman participant Shannon Tobin said.

Freshman Julie Butler agreed and said she wanted the opportunity to “go behind the scenes in the Capitol.” Tobin and Butler said they saw this event, which was funded by the GW Office of Government Affairs, as a perfect fit.

Dunn said volunteers could have mailed the envelopes, but the contents may have carried more weight if delivered personally. This way students gain experience, Dunn said.

Freshman John Siegel said he enjoyed his trip to the House of Representatives and was surprised people took him seriously. Siegel said some people opened up the letters in front of him.

Dunn said his editorial appeared in The Washington Post during a break in Congress, and Dunn hopes that staff members will read his article and pass it on to House and Senate members who may have missed it.

Before the students left for the Capitol they were treated to a lunch, where Dunn explained his position.

“Why can’t we get a few bucks back?” Dunn said at the luncheon.

Dunn said the GOP’s bill was too big. Americans deserve a break in taxes at a time when the United States no longer has Cold War expenses and when federal tax revenues are at a record high for peacetime, he said.

Dunn, who served on the Federal Reserve Board for two years, said he found Clinton’s call for a $300 billion tax cut compromise “a tad on the stingy side” and proposed a $500 to $600 billion cut.

Dunn said he is against leaving the money alone to be used toward the national debt, because “if Congress has surpluses, then they will find ways to spend them.”

He said he hopes his plan will help the president and Republicans to reach a compromise on a tax cut.

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