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Thursday, February 3, 2005

Tax Portions of President Bush's State of the Union Address

State_of_the_union Tax portions of President Bush's State of the Union address last night:

In the past four years, we provided tax relief to every person who pays income taxes....

I will send you a budget that holds the growth of discretionary spending below inflation, makes tax relief permanent, and stays on track to cut the deficit in half by 2009. My budget substantially reduces or eliminates more than 150 government programs that are not getting results, or duplicate current efforts, or do not fulfill essential priorities. The principle here is clear: Taxpayer dollars must be spent wisely, or not at all....

I ask Congress to move forward on a comprehensive health care agenda with tax credits to help low-income workers buy insurance....

To build the prosperity of future generations, we must update institutions that were created to meet the needs of an earlier time. Year after year, Americans are burdened by an archaic, incoherent federal tax code. I've appointed a bipartisan panel to examine the tax code from top to bottom. And when their recommendations are delivered, you and I will work together to give this nation a tax code that is pro-growth, easy to understand, and fair to all.

Republicans praised the tax portions of the President's address:

  • Senate Finance Committee Chair Charles E. Grassely (R-Iowa):  "You shouldn’t need a Ph.D or a staff to file your taxes.  The President is serving taxpayers by taking this on. With his great bully pulpit, he can do more to build a national consensus on tax reform than anyone else.  While his panel studies the issue, I have my staff looking at ways to simplify tax laws.  Congress has been adding to the tax code for nearly 100 years. It makes sense to stop and take stock.”  According to Tax Analysts, Grassley was less optimistic about the odds of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts becoming permanent. He expressed doubt that a proposal to extend the tax cuts could get the necessary 60 votes in the Senate "because of concerns about the deficit."

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