In a strongly worded statement laced with harsh, but indirect, criticism of Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y) and other supply side advocates, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee intensified his call for a tax increase yesterday.
Noting that President Reagan is to deliver his State of the Union message on Tuesday, Robert Dole (R-Kan.) said "I, for one, hope that the president will ultimately decide to propose some modest revenue increases as part of a comprehensive program to cut the federal deficit."
The statement is designed to provide GOP congressional support to raising taxes, an issue the president has been wavering on.
As recently as this week, aides said on Wednesday that Reagan had decided to support increases in a number of excise taxes, only to report on Thursday that he apparently had changed his mind after meeting with business and Chamber of Commerce officials.
Dole cited the prospect that deficits in 1983 and 1984 will exceed $100 billion without new taxes, a prospect that is "just not acceptable economically or politically. Massive federal deficits will have the direct affect of raising interest rates in the financial markets, and could ultimately produce more inflation."
Dole's strongest words were reserved, however, for Kemp, the principal sponsor of the Kemp-Roth tax cut and leading congressional advocate of the supply-side theory that the deficit problem will be resolved by economic growth spurred by last year's tax reduction.
Dole said: "I do not subscribe to the fantasy that, if we do nothing, deficits will disappear. Some of those in Congress who are most vocally leading the fight against any tax increases propose nothing to bring spending under control . . . It is hard to conceive a worse economic or political path to follow."