WASHINGTON- Last night, Gov. George W. Bush (R-Tex.) and Vice President Al Gore (D) had their final debate.  While the debate itself was widely judged to be a draw for the candidates, the taxpayers of America came out the big winners. 

Damon Ansell, vice president of policy at Americans for Tax Reform, issued the following statement on the debate:

"Last night Gov. Bush and Vice President Gore clarified their differences on taxes.  Gore will target his modest tax cuts toward certain groups of people, while Bush will cut income taxes responsibly across the board for all taxpayers.

"Mr. Gore repeatedly attacked the details of Gov. Bush\’s plan.  Gore alleged \’if everyone here in this audience was dead on in the middle of the middle class, then the tax cuts for every single one of you, all added up, would be less than the tax cut his plan would give to just one member of that top, wealthiest one percent.\’

"In fact, that was not true.  Using figures obtained from the U.S Census Bureau on the non-partisan TaxClarity.com Bush tax plan calculator demonstrates that Gore\’s allegation was way off the mark, yet again.

"In addition, under the Bush plan, one in five taxpaying families with children will no longer pay any federal income tax at all.  That\’s six million families.  Gore\’s plan offers no such break to low-income families and keeps those families on the tax rolls. 

"Lastly, under the Clinton-Gore administration, the wealthy have paid 62 percent of the tax burden.  Under Bush\’s plan, the wealthy will pay 64 percent of the tax burden.  In addition, the wealthy will pay one-third of the taxes and receive just one-fifth of the benefits.  These two facts discredit Gore\’s disingenuous allegation that Bush\’s plan helps the wealthy. 

"The tax issue could not be more clear for taxpayers:  elect Al Gore and have the government keep more of your money or elect George W. Bush and get meaningful, responsible tax relief.