FORGET the $200 haircut. Conservatives charge that President Clinton's real difficulty is his penchant for outmoded, big-government policies.
Four leading Republicans say that the president's proposals on taxes and health care will seriously damage the American economy and open the way for huge political gains by the GOP in the 1994 elections.
Jack Kemp, a former Cabinet member in the Bush White House, says Mr. Clinton's tax increases will cost the United States 4 million jobs over the next three years and "will absolutely destroy the Northeast."
Mr. Kemp spoke to reporters Friday at a Monitor breakfast, where he was joined by former Rep. Vin Weber, former United Nations Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and former Education Secretary William Bennett.
They are among the founders of Empower America, a group established earlier this year to promote conservative ideas and fight for control of the Republican Party.
Kemp, who may seek the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, argues that the Clinton plan targets people who work, save, and invest in new jobs. "You can't have capitalism without capital," Kemp notes. He says Clinton's plan raises the tax rate on capital formation by 40 percent.
"His tax plan will destroy his presidency. It will elect a Republican Congress in 1994, in my view," Kemp says. The four also warned Republicans not to be lured, as many have, by the "siren song" of Texas billionaire Ross Perot. "I don't think, frankly, that he's a Republican," Mrs. Kirkpatrick says. Mr. Bennett agrees. "He believes in higher taxes; he's opposed to free trade; he's absolutely pro-choice on abortion; he opposed the Gulf war; he has no problem with gays in the military. This is not a Repub lican."