-- Moving up some of the rate cuts in the President's $1.6 trillion tax plan could mean deferring or deleting parts of his original 10-year package, which would anger conservatives.

-- If Bush agrees to a smaller, early tax cut, he gives Democrats a victory in their campaign to whittle down Bushonomics and makes it easier for foes to nix pieces such as the estate-tax repeal.

-- Bush might have shown more flexibility if it weren't for memories of his father's 1990 tax flip-flop. So he's letting Congress initiate a retooled tax policy, at the risk of seeming behind the curve.

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