Bush touts tax cut plan
Democrats call cuts 'reckless'
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush Saturday urged Congress to adopt his tax cut plan which he says will "create jobs by removing obstacles to economic growth," but a House Democrat called the proposal "reckless" and argues that it "will only sink our nation further into debt."
After a trip to Ohio promoting the plan, Bush touted the proposed $550 billion tax cut in his weekly radio address. U.S. House Rep. Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, an Ohio Democrat from the Cleveland area, ripped the plan in the Democrats' radio address, saying a "tax cut of this size, directed to the privileged few, will not help our struggling economy"
In his remarks, the president praised the economy's "great strengths," citing lower interest rates and the dropping of energy prices, but said the economy is not "meeting its full potential."
"My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income tax, provide relief for families and small businesses, and help millions of seniors in retirement by eliminating the double taxation of dividends."
Bush promoted his tax plan in speeches this week in the Ohio cities of Canton and Lima.
"With a robust package of at least $550 billion in across- the-board tax relief, we will help create more than a million new jobs" by the end of next year, he said in his radio address.
Bush first proposed more than $700 billion in new tax cuts, including the elimination of the tax on dividends. The House and Senate trimmed the package to $550 billion.
"Tax relief is good for families, and good for our entire economy. The jobs and growth plan I have proposed is fair; it is responsible; it is urgent. And Congress should pass it in full."
Tubbs-Jones, who supports an alternative economic plan, said "Democrats are all for cutting taxes" and argues that "we believe responsible tax cuts take into account the future as well as the present and do not increase deficits, raise interest rates, or risk jobs."
She said Democrats are proposing tax cuts of $85 billion and that would benefit "hardworking Americans who are most likely to put the extra money back into our economy, and small businesses which need incentives to invest."
It is part of a "stimulus package," a $135 billion plan "to put Americans back to work."
Bush's Ohio visit and speeches countered the stance of Republican Sen. George Voinovich, the Ohio senator who supports a smaller tax cut. Some Republican senators also argued that the cuts were unwise when the administration is projecting $300 billion in deficit spending.
In his radio address, Bush alluded to such opposition, saying some members of Congress who support tax relief say the Bush plan "is too big."
"Since they already agree that tax relief creates jobs, it doesn't make sense to provide less tax relief and, therefore, create fewer jobs. I believe we should enact more tax relief, so that we can create more jobs, and more Americans can find work and provide for their families."
Tubbs-Jones noted that since 2001, Ohio lost 167,800 jobs and the city of Cleveland lost 53,900 since Bush was sworn into office.
"Over the last few weeks, I have spoken with many members of the Cleveland business community, and most agree on one thing: this tax cut is useless as a tool to help their struggling businesses."
She said businesses will invest in jobs in "if they're allowed to write off more of those investments on their taxes. And workers in the health care field feel they're best helped by increased provider reimbursements, not a dividend tax reduction."