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Bush pitches tax plan as boon to small business

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Saturday said small businesses are a major target of his economic stimulus plan to speed up growth and produce jobs.

Small firms would get economic relief through income tax cuts, and a tripling of the amount of money businesses can deduct from their taxes for investment in new equipment, Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Both measures should stimulate investment, he added.

start quoteGovernment's role is to create an environment in which employers succeed and hire new people.end quote
-- President Bush, in Saturday's radio address

"To help small business, government should not try to manage the economy from Washington," Bush said. "Government's role is to create an environment in which employers succeed and hire new people."

Small firms create millions of jobs and account for about half of the nation's economic output, Bush said.

He said his proposal to provide immediate relief for those who pay federal income taxes would jolt the economy, unlike the congressional plan approved two years ago that won't go into effect until 2006.

According to Bush, more than two-thirds of taxpayers who pay the highest marginal tax rates are small business owners. They include their profits when they file their individual tax returns.

The president said his proposed tax relief would give 23 million small business owners an average tax cut of $2,042 in 2003.

"And I'm asking Congress to make those reductions permanent, so that America's entrepreneurs can plan for the future, add more employees and invest in our economy," he added.

On the increase in new equipment deductions, Bush said small businesses would be able to boost that from $25,000 to $75,000.

Other proposals by Bush would curtail what he calls "frivolous" lawsuits that he said impose unfair costs on businesses, and end the estate tax to make it easier for business owners to pass ownership to family members.

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