Amerimix
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Fraco USA, Inc.
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February 21, 2003 8:37 AM CST

Economic Growth and Jobs Package Presented by the Bush Administration

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Now that the 108th Congress is back in session and new members are finally getting their committee assignments ironed out, they have lots of work to do. Not only have members been busy attempting to finalize the appropriations bills left over from the last session, but President Bush has made it clear that one of his first ? if not top ? priorities will be to enact his economic growth and jobs proposal. Bush believes this proposal is necessary to turn our economic recovery into lasting prosperity that reaches every corner of America.

The President's economic agenda has three, main goals: encourage consumer spending that will continue to boost the economic recovery; promote investment by individuals and businesses that will lead to economic growth and job creation; and deliver critical help to unemployed citizens. The President's new proposal would also speed up the 2001 tax cuts to increase the pace of the recovery and job creation, end the double taxation of dividends and give small businesses incentives to grow, extend existing unemployment benefits, and create new re-employment accounts to help displaced workers get back on the job. Although the bill doesn't specifically eliminate the death tax completely, in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently, Vice President Cheney said that remains a top priority of the Bush Administration.

This economic plan will help small business owners in other ways. For example, 23 million small business owners would receive tax cuts averaging $2,042 beginning in 2003. And, every small business owner who purchases equipment to grow and expand will get assistance through an increase in the expensing limits from $25,000 to $75,000, indexed for inflation.

President Bush recognizes the fact that small businesses create the majority of new jobs and account for half of the output of the economy. The current Administration believes our tax laws should encourage small businesses to buy technology, machinery and other equipment they need to expand their business.

The President's jobs and growth package will provide $98 billion of total tax relief over the next 16 months and $670 billion over the next decade. The American economy is strong, but it still has lots of room for improvement. Getting this ambitious package enacted into law will not be easy. In fact, a few members of his own party are skeptical that the President's proposal will create more jobs, increase the tax base, and reduce the tax burden of those who need it the most without increasing interest rates or driving up the deficit. Only time will tell.

One thing's for certain: the President's plan is sizeable enough that he'll have plenty of room to negotiate.

MCAA is hopeful that the White House can get a sensible economic agenda through Congress that will truly benefit the backbone of our economy ? our nation's small businesses. We'll be watching its progress very closely in the weeks and months to come.


About the Author

Marian J. Marshall was the Director of Government Affairs for the Mason Contractors Association of America.

 

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