Kerry Touts Economic Plans, But "Sensitive" Attack Overshadows His Message
Sen. Kerry yesterday challenged the Administration's tax policies and touted a return to the economic strategies of the Clinton years. According to the Washington Post, Kerry added that "Clinton's advisers were helping devise his economic plan and that he would be 'a champion for the middle class' by cutting their taxes and lowering the deficit." However, the senator's "planned message was largely overshadowed by Mr. Cheney's attack in Dayton, Ohio," where he mocked Kerry for calling for a "more sensitive" war on terror.
Kerry's economic message received no attention from the network news shows, while local TV newscasts generally combined their coverage of Kerry's events with his campaign's reaction to Cheney. Typical of the local coverage was KCAL-TV of Los Angeles, California, which reported Kerry "outlined $419 billion in tax cuts," and "did not respond to Republican Dick Cheney's early morning assault." Cheney "ridiculed Kerry's call for a more sensitive war on terror. . . . While Kerry did not respond, a campaign spokesperson did, calling the attacks disingenuous and that President Bush once also used the word sensitive and brought out the quote."
The Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, reports Kerry told his audience at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson that "Bush's claims that the economy had 'turned the corner' were painfully untrue." Kerry said he, "in contrast to Bush, would support a sweeping business tax cut, a leaner federal government and changes in the federal tax code to provide greater accessibility to healthcare, child care and higher education. He promised to slash the federal deficit in half in four years and to end tax benefits for companies that send American jobs overseas, and to use the money to reward companies that hire at home." The New York Times says the senator "likened President Bush's stewardship on the economy to Herbert Hoover's," seizing "on last week's anemic job-growth numbers" as he "opened a two-week offensive devoted to the economy, which his aides see as the premier issue in the election. His speech offered no new policy but repackaged his proposals as a 'Jobs First Tax Cut.'"
Kerry Says Bush Backing Massive Tax Hike With Support Of National Sales Tax.
Kerry also commented on the President's positive remarks a few days ago about a national sales tax. The Washington Times reports the senator said Bush "is supporting a massive tax increase on the middle class by supporting the idea of a national sales tax. 'Just yesterday the other side talked about a national sales tax. At least that's what they call it. I call it one of the largest tax increases on the middle class in American history.'" The Christian Science Monitor asks, "But is the president really ready to take on the American tax system? . . . For now, the question is whether Bush really wants to inject this bold new idea into an already issue-laden campaign."
CBO Report Shows Bush Tax Cuts Shifted Burden From Wealthy To Middle Class.
Coinciding with Kerry's new offensive on the economy and Bush's tax policies, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning that the president's "three tax-cut laws will reduce this year's income taxes for the richest 1% of taxpayers by an average of $78,460, more than 70 times the average benefit for the middle 20% of taxpayers, congressional analysts found. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office today will release the government's first multiyear projection of the Bush tax cuts by income class." The report, "made at the Democrats' request, confirms what the Democrats and their presidential nominee. . .have charged that the wealthy disproportionately benefit." The New York Times says the new estimates "confirm what independent tax analysts have long said."
Kerry To End Campaign Swing In Oregon Today. NPR (8/13) reports this morning, "Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry ends his cross-country campaign trip today in Oregon. Kerry says the 15 day excursion through 22 states by train, bus and plane was a unique experience."