WASHINGTON (AP)--Visiting the nation's capital for the first time since the election, President-elect George Bush praised Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan after meeting with him Dec. 18.

"I talked with a good man right here," Bush said, placing a hand on Greenspan's shoulder after a breakfast meeting of almost an hour. "We had a very strong discussion about my confidence in his abilities."

Neither responded to questions about Bush's tax-cut plan, which was expected to be a topic of Greenspan's meeting with the president-elect and Larry Lindsey, an economic adviser likely to join the new administration.

Then Bush headed to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders of both parties. He says there is more justification than ever for a big tax cut with the economy slowing.

"I look forward to making my case, and visiting with as many members of both parties as I can. And it's going to be an interesting couple of days," Bush said Sunday as he left Texas.

Bush has said he's standing by his proposed tax cut, even though Democrats strongly oppose the plan as too costly--and even though some top members of his own party have suggested it is too unwieldy. But Bush suggested the plan might be just the prescription for a slowing economy.

Bush and Vice President-elect Dick Cheney have hinted that the economy may be headed for a recession. Asked in advance of the Greenspan meeting if he thought the Fed chairman shared those views, Bush said:

"I'll let him speak for himself. One of the things I'm certain that I should not do as president-elect is to try to put words in the mouth of Alan Greenspan."

Greenspan last summer was critical of the size of Bush's tax cut, and some members of Bush's father's administration have suggested his tight-money policies in 1990-91 contributed to the elder Bush's defeat.

Despite Democratic opposition to his tax-cut plan, Bush said he believes it is "important as an insurance policy against any economic downturn."

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