Roger Porter, domestic policy adviser to President Bush, described ongoing budget talks as being between the administration's policy of "dynamism and change" and the Democrats' desire for the "security . . . of more of the same."

Porter, Defense Secretary Dick Cheney and the president spoke to about 100 out-of-town reporters during a four-hour briefing session at the White House.A cut in the capital gains tax has been the centerpiece of Bush's policy. Porter said Monday, in response to a question from the Deseret News, that he considers such a cut necessary to increase investment and savings, stopping just short of saying he was "adamant" on the issue.

Porter cited U.S. spending on schools, which he said has increased by $44 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars in the past 10 years, with little to show in the way of better-educated students or higher SAT scores.

The schools, Porter suggested, are badly in need of new ideas, not just more money.