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Democrats Say Bush Budget Hurts State Services
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Democrats Say Bush Budget Hurts State Services

Roll Call (2/7, Duran) reports, "Democrats slammed President Bush's $2.23 trillion budget from a fresh angle Thursday, charging that it leaves states in the lurch. '[Bush's budget] fails to fund the president's own education reforms,' Senate Minority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.) said. 'It fails to help states struggling with rising Medicaid costs. In addition, it cuts children's health care, aid to local law enforcement, highway funding and environmental protection.'" States "face a collective $68.5 billion budget shortfall in fiscal 2004 -- the worst in 50 years, he said. 'When it comes to the way Congress deals with states' challenges, many Republicans preach the gospel of states' rights, but they practice policies that can be summed up in four words: "Pass on the pain,"' Daschle said." In particular, "Democrats have hammered the administration on its funding levels for education, arguing the president has not requested funding for his own No Child Left Behind Act." White House Would Get 9.3% Funding Boost Under Bush Plan. The Washington Post (2/7, A25, Milbank) reports, "While demanding that the federal government restrain its spending to a 4.1 percent increase in 2004, the Bush White House has assigned itself a more lenient standard: It has proposed a 9.3 percent increase in funding for the ongoing operations of the White House. Democrats say the administration is guilty of a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do mentality." The White House "says various hidden security costs account for the increase. ... The only unit scheduled for a cut in funding is the White House Office of Policy Development." Group To Promote Bush Dividend Tax Cut. The Frontrunner (2/7) reports that in a news release distributed to political reporters, Tax Relief Coalition (TRC) members, The Business Roundtable (BRT) and Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE), announced they "will co-chair the TRC Committee for Dividend Benefits, a new task force being established by the Tax Relief Coalition to emphasize support for the proposal to eliminate the double taxation of dividends which is a key element of President Bush's Jobs and Growth initiative. At its first meeting in Washington today, the group agreed to launch a concerted campaign to promote the positive benefits to the American economy of the President's dividend proposal."

02/07/2003
President Bush's Tax Plan Would Improve the Ability to Deal with Future Social Security Deficits
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Press Release

President Bush's Tax Plan Would Improve the Ability to Deal with Future Social Security Deficits

This report was produced by The Heritage Foundation. Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institute - a think tank - whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.

02/06/2003
States’ Internet Tax Scheme Could Lead to a National Sales Tax
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Press Release

States’ Internet Tax Scheme Could Lead to a National Sales Tax

The next time you order a sweater from a catalog business in Maine, or a computer online from South Dakota, you might see a little extra surprise on the bill: sales taxes! That’s because state governments want to force businesses nationwide to start collecting sales taxes for them, even if that business has no presence in their state! So, if a small business operating only in, say, Virginia and sells some widgets to someone in Florida, that small business will have to collect and report Florida sales taxes.

02/06/2003
Business Groups Begin New Effort On Dividend Taxation
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Business Groups Begin New Effort On Dividend Taxation

Top business groups are launching a new effort to secure passage of President Bush's plan to eliminate individual taxation on dividends. The Tax Relief Coalition, the Business Roundtable and Citizens for a Sound Economy will co-chair the new TRC Committee for Dividend Benefits. The dividend proposal is the centerpiece of President Bush's $695 billion economic growth package. But the plan has drawn questions even from moderate lawmakers of both parties, who are concerned about the overall price tag of the package. The new TRC committee held its first meeting today. The committee plans an extensive effort that will include public outreach, the generation of economic studies, forums for discussing the dividend plan, and advertising, according to a statement released by the TRC. "The TRC will fight very hard for dividend reform," said U.S. Chamber of Commerce vice president Bruce Josten. The TRC is comprised of leading business associations, including the Chamber, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, and the National Restaurant Association.

02/06/2003
Weekly Capitol Hill Roundup
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Press Release

Weekly Capitol Hill Roundup

President’s Budget

02/05/2003
Cut Spending First
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Press Release

Cut Spending First

Congressional critics of the President’s $2.23 trillion budget proposal have narrowly focused their complaints on tax cuts and budget deficits. Have they forgotten that under our system of government the president proposes a budget and the Congress appropriates? Have they forgotten that the president has proposed the largest federal budget in history? If they do not like the size of the budget deficit, why don’t they start with trimming some of the excess spending in the president’s budget?

02/05/2003
Will the President’s Budget Bolster the Economy?
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Press Release

Will the President’s Budget Bolster the Economy?

On Monday, President Bush sent his budget request to Congress. While not surprising, the budget is sobering. Beyond the tax cuts and initiatives outlined in last week’s State of the Union address, the new budget demonstrates the growing expanse of government and the urgent need for Medicare and Social Security reform. As the budget makes quite clear, if today’s deficits are disconcerting, the mounting liabilities of Social Security and Medicare are cataclysmic. The president outlines an ambitious agenda: “winning the war against terrorism, securing the homeland, and generating long-run economic growth,” all while tackling the excessive government spending and the looming fiscal crises of Social Security and Medicare.

02/04/2003
Texas Education Funding - A Hot Button Issue
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Press Release

Texas Education Funding - A Hot Button Issue

Senate Education Committee Chairman Florence Shapiro and House Public Education Chairman Kent Grusendorf have filed legislation which would sunset the current school finance system, known as Robin Hood, in September 2005. The bold legislation forces a debate on school finance. If passed, a special session would likely be called to address the issue. In the current, two-year budget cycle, 118 "wealthy" districts are giving up about $1.5 billion in property taxes to poorer districts. Texas public education facts:

02/04/2003
CSE on the Bush ’04 Budget: “The Good and the Ugly”
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Press Release

CSE on the Bush ’04 Budget: “The Good and the Ugly”

President Bush’s new 2004 budget proposal includes tax cuts and important reforms and begins to slow the rapid growth in government over the past three years. CSE President Paul Beckner commented: “The President’s budget is a significant turn away from the spending bonanza of the past few years. He’s right to focus on spending restraint, and also on the crisis in Medicare, which is the greatest looming threat to U.S. fiscal stability.”

02/03/2003
GOP Groups Slam Bush on CO[2] Credits
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GOP Groups Slam Bush on CO[2] Credits

A bevy of conservative, Republican-oriented groups have sent the White House a letter objecting to the Bush administration s plan for transferable credits for companies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The letter, spearheaded by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, echoes an earlier, October 2002, letter warning against regulatory offsets for carbon reductions. Since then, notes the letter, Sens. John McCain(R-Ariz.) and Joe Lieberman(D-Conn.) have introduced their cap-and-trade greenhouse legislation, and the president has introduced his latest tax proposal, which includes increases in tax expensing of capital investments. The McCain-Lieberman legislation, says the letter, would have the same effect as an energy tax, with the greatest impacts on the poor and seniors. The letter warns that "early reductions" in the White House plan would have full value only if emissions are capped. Thus, companies that are interested in earning credits for early reductions "will gain incentives to lobby for the bill." On the other hand, the administration s approach to expensing "is a better way to speed up carbon intensity decline." The letter observes, "Your growth and jobs plan calls for increasing the small business expensing option from $25,000 to $75,000. This is a good first step, but we think the limits on expensing should be expanded even further, and extended to all capital investment." Expensing all capital investment, says the letter, would remove "the tax penalty on capital investment" and "would encourage more rapid turnover of plant and equipment. In general, state-of-the-art facilities are more productive than older units, delivering more output per unit of input, including energy inputs. Expensing would thus accelerate carbon intensity decline yet without building political support for energy rationing." Groups joining CEI in the letter were Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Taxpayers Union, American Association of Small Property Owners, American Conservative Union, Small Business Survival Committee, 60 Plus Association, Americans for Tax Reform, American Legislative Exchange Council, The Seniors Coalition, African American Republican Leadership Council, Citizens Against Government Waste, Consumer Alert, and Strategic Issues Research Institute.

02/03/2003

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