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Bush Criticizes Kerry Economic Plan  - 2004-09-09


President Bush is campaigning in the important swing state of Pennsylvania, where polls show him in a tight race with Democratic challenger John Kerry. The president attacked Senator Kerry's economic plan while championing his own record tax cuts.

President Bush says Senator Kerry's plan to increase rates on the top two percent of American taxpayers will not raise enough money to pay for nearly two trillion dollars in new government spending that the Democratic challenger is promising on the campaign trail.

Mr. Bush told Republican supporters at a company that makes Christmas decorations that Senator Kerry's plan will only raise about $650 billion over 10 years, leaving him $1.4 trillion short.

The president says Democrats will force middle class taxpayers to make up the difference. "We have a difference of opinion when it comes to taxation," he said. "If you drive a car, Senator Kerry has voted for higher taxes on you. If you have a job, he has voted for higher taxes on you. If you are married or have children, he voted for higher taxes on you. The good news is, on the second of November, you have a chance to vote."

The president criticized Senator Kerry's economic team for keeping details of their plan secret until after the November election.

"Well, if they want to hold back information until the people vote, you can bet it won't be good news for the taxpayers," he said. "But America will reject the hidden Kerry tax plan."

For his part, President Bush says he is helping the economy by cleaning-up corporate corruption and cutting taxes to restore confidence after the 2001 terrorist attacks and a recession that he says he inherited from the Clinton administration.

"The tax relief provided small business owners with the resources and incentives they need to expand and grow and hire more workers," he said. "The entrepreneurial spirit is strong. The small business sector of our economy is strong. And the tax relief helped strengthen it."

The president lost Pennsylvania four years ago and is pushing hard to win it in this election with his 36th visit to the state and a rally here in Johnstown at an indoor sports stadium.

A new public opinion poll shows Pennsylvania is still up for grabs with President Bush and Senator Kerry in a statistical dead heat. The USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll shows the president with a 14-point lead in Missouri and an eight point lead in Ohio, both key swing states in this election.

The president returns to Ohio and West Virginia Friday for more campaigning before a prayer service Saturday marking the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.

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