Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady said Monday President-elect George Bush opposed higher indirect taxes such as excise taxes on cigarettes and alcohol, as well as increased income taxes.
"No new taxes. No more taxes. That's what I saw reading the vice president's lips," Brady said on ABC's "Good Morning America."Asked whether the financial markets were skeptical about Bush's ability to reduce the $155 billion federal budget deficit, Brady said the markets had fluctuated somewhat since the Nov. 8 election but not more than usual. "It A doesn't worry most observers," he said.
He noted the dollar was higher Monday than it was a year ago against 15 of 20 leading currencies. "Stability is what we're after, and stability is what we've got," he said.
Brady said cutting the deficit was important but that reductions must come through revenues generated by economic growth and spending cuts.
He rejected a suggestion that the Reagan administration's economic forecast for 1989 was too rosy, saying 3.5 percent growth was very possible. Inflation would be in the 4 percent area, Brady added.
He said it was too early to specify which areas of the budget would be cut, except that under Bush's plan for a flexible freeze on spending, taxes would not be raised and Social Security would not be trimmed.
"He's going to take off the table taxes and Social Security. Those are issues that he's going to leave as they are. And he's going to tackle the other areas of expenditure. It's too early yet to say what categories those are going to be in. Whether that's in defense or some of the other social expenditures, it hasn't been decided," Brady said.
Brady said the Bush administration was likely to push for two-year federal budgets in place of the present annual budgets to make the budget process less hectic.
He said money might have to be found to rescue ailing savings and loan institutions. But he said it was not inevitable that the budget deficit would increase by the $60 billion or so that some experts have set as the price tag for rescue.
Bush, his wife, Barbara, and the family dog, "Millie," an English Springer Spaniel, returned to Washington Sunday aboard Air Force Two after spending an extended Thanksgiving weekend in Kennebunkport, Maine, at their vacation home.
The president-elect scheduled meetings Monday with congressional leaders, including a luncheon with Senate Minority leader Bob Dole, his former rival for the GOP nomination.