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Can We Endure Four More Years of Misery?
May 18, 2004
By Evelyn Pringle

While watching George W. Bush's attack ads against John Kerry on TV, I realized something was missing. Like what Bush plans to do about the economic problems if he's elected to four more years.

For over three years, all we've heard about is tax cuts, tax cuts, and more tax cuts. When is he going to admit that his tax cuts have done nothing to stimulate the economy or produce job growth and come up with a plan B?

All of Bush's ads try to paint Kerry as being against tax relief, so let's set the record straight. Kerry will not raise taxes on the middle class, he will not eliminate the child tax credit, and he will not reinstate the marriage penalty.

But I'll tell you what he will do to fund his economic policies. He will roll back Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, and work to eliminate each and every corporate tax loophole so that corporations will pay their share of taxes. And one of the first to go will be the one that allows companies to set up an off-shore mail box in order to rip off billions of dollars from the tax rolls.

The country's economic forecast is not good. According to the newly released Middle-Class Misery Index for 2003, health care premiums are up 11%, college tuition is up 13%, and gasoline is up 15%, while wages are down 2%.

While I've heard nothing about a Bush plan to address these problems, Kerry proposes a series of specific policies aimed at reducing health care premiums, helping families pay for college, and reducing gas prices.

Kerry will offer $177 billion in tax credits to reduce yearly health insurance premiums by $1,000 per family and within three years he wants all Americans to have access to the same health care plan available to members of Congress.

Families are now spending $300 more a year on gasoline than when Bush took office. So what has Bush done about it? He's spent millions of dollars on TV ads to try to convince the public that the rising cost of gas is somehow Kerry's fault. So far as I know, that's his whole policy in a nutshell.

Kerry has a plan to lower the price of gasoline. While he works to convince OPEC to increase production, he will suspend filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. He will promote long-term energy independence by advancing the use of renewable fuels and promoting fuel efficient cars and homes.

Bush has presided over the worst job loss of any President since Hoover. 2.6 million private sector jobs are gone. Yet, I've heard of no Bush plan for job creation, other than his standard mantra of more tax cuts.

Kerry has a strategy to stimulate job growth. He will make a $50 billion package available to the states to increase manufacturing incentives and to stop the outsourcing of jobs overseas, he will extend tax credits to companies that create jobs in the US.

Kerry realizes the importance of a college education and has a plan that will help students pay for college with a College Opportunity Tax Credit and a Service for College Program. He will provide a credit for each year of college on the first $4,000 paid in tuition and the Service for College plan will provide the cost of four years at a public college to young people in exchange for serving their communities and country in national service

Kerry's been out there talking about his agenda every day for months. Its time for Bush to stop the attack ads and start telling people what he plans to do about the economic problems in this country if he's elected to four more years.

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