BUSINESSWEEK ONLINE : DECEMBER 25, 2000 ISSUE
GOVERNMENT

What Washington Might Deliver


FISCAL POLICY
Tax cuts may be about half the $1.6 trillion Bush promised, with relief from the estate tax and the marriage penalty. Caps on individual retirement accounts and 401(k) contributions may be raised.

HEALTH CARE
Passage of a patients' bill of rights is likely, and possibly a new Medicare drug benefit for seniors. A sleeper issue: Expanded health coverage for the uninsured.

DEFENSE SPENDING
The Pentagon's procurement budget will rise. But the Star Wars anti-missile defense system will be a lot leaner than Bush promised.

MONETARY POLICY
Pressure to cut rates will grow as the economy slows. But don't look for the Fed's Greenspan to abort the soft landing too quickly.



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