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Monday, 5 February, 2001, 22:48 GMT
Bush: Tax cuts for all
George W Bush
Tax cuts were a Bush election pledge
By Paul Reynolds in Washington

US President George W Bush launched a campaign to get his tax cuts through Congress at a White House ceremony on Monday, promising tax relief for everyone who pays taxes.

Mr Bush is expected to present his detailed plans for a $1.6 trillion cut over 10 years to Congress on Thursday.


My plan addresses the struggles of American families and respects their judgment

George W Bush
Mr Bush appeared with three families who would benefit from his plan and said that the tax bill of an average American family would be reduced by $1,600.

He responded to critics who say that it favours the rich by saying that everyone who pays taxes should get tax relief.

"My plan addresses the struggles of American families and respects their judgment," the president said.

"It doesn't tell families how to spend their money, it doesn't single out some Americans for relief while leaving others out. It's tax relief for everybody who pays taxes."

Mr Bush's proposals would reduce the amount of income tax paid by each income group.

The Democrats are putting forward proposals amounting to about $800bn, most of that targeted at poorer people.

Political rewards

There is no doubt though that tax cutting is a popular theme and most observers expect Congress to act by the summer.

Mr Bush made much of his tax plan during the election.

At the time he was attacked for being reckless, even naive, but the pendulum has swung. With increased budget surpluses forecast, even senior financial figures like the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan, are speaking favourably of cutting taxes.

Mr Bush is reaping political rewards and this has thrown the Democrats onto the defensive.

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