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CNN Today

Larry Lindsey Named Chairman of Council of Economic Advisers

Aired January 3, 2001 - 4:38 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: In Austin, Texas, President-Elect George Bush has been sitting down today with business leaders to talk about the slowing of the U.S. economy and about his planned tax cuts.

Joining us from Austin with more on the Bush economic forum is CNN White House correspondent Major Garrett -- Major.

MAJOR GARRETT, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Joie. Well, you know, the news from the Fed really overshadowed the entire economic conference here. Two quick Bush reactions to it. First of all, the president-elect said he was pleased. He said the economy needed a boost and he said the Fed's move will help prevent the economy from, in his words, going into a tailspin.

A second Bush reaction, though, is also that this ends the political argument as to whether or not the Bush team was talking down the economy. Some in the Clinton administration accused the Bush team of doing exactly that. They consider the Fed move vindication that they were right; that the president-elect was, in their words, being a realist about the direction of the U.S. economy and the president- elect also said that even though the Fed did move, the Fed cannot by itself revive the economy and that Congress will need to deal with his tax cut plan and deal with it soon.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think it's really important for members of the Congress to understand that the tax relief plan I've put forth is an integral part of economic recovery. I say recovery because a lot of folks in this room have brought some pretty bad news, that their sales are slowing; that they're having to trim back their workforce.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

GARRETT: And part of that Bush tax plan will be an across the board cut in all tax rates, knocking the top rate down from its current 39 percent to 33 percent. Now Democrats in Congress vehemently opposed that and it's going to be a battle royale on Capitol Hill when Bush brings that tax plan to Congress.

The president-elect also added another member to his economic team. Larry Lindsey will now head the Council of Economic Advisers. Here's a little bit on Mr. Lindsey's background. He was a member of the Federal Reserve Board from 1991 to 1997. He was also a special policy assistant to President Bush. That was during the Bush administration of 1988 to 1992 and also he was a former Harvard economics professor. Mr. Lindsey said he was very happy to join in the Bush and would fully support that big tax cut once it came to Capitol Hill -- Joie.

CHEN: Major Garrett for us in Austin.

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