Bond touts tax relief plan at economic roundtable

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The $70 billion, election-year tax-cut package signed by President Bush earlier this month will help build a stronger Missouri by preventing tax hikes, spurring economic growth and creating jobs, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond said Tuesday.

Bond praised the tax relief plan, which extends existing tax cuts on dividends and capital gains, on Tuesday during an economic roundtable at Southeast Missouri State University's Innovation Center in Cape Girardeau. The forum was attended by several Southeast Missouri economic developers and business owners.

Bond's stop was one of several on a statewide swing to promote the tax-cut package.

"I am the first to admit that government does not create private-sector jobs," Bond said. "But there are things we can do to help, such as reasonable, but not excessive, government regulation."

Democrats have labeled the bill as a benefit only to the wealthy, but Bond said that's not the case. He said the tax package -- originally enacted in 2001 -- will mean continued benefits for everyone who is married, who has a child, or who owns a small business or family farm.

Bond cited Treasury Department statistics that say that more than 2 million Missouri taxpayers now pay lower taxes, 650,000 married Missouri couples paid less this year as a result of elimination of the marriage penalty and 541,000 tax filers with children paid less as a result of a doubling in the per child tax credit.

National media would have you believe that the economy is slumping, he said. Bond also took exception to that notion. Some have suggested that the cut in the capital gains tax -- taxes placed on profits from the sale of investments or real estate -- would cost the federal government $3 billion. Bonds said the capital gains tax rate in fact earned the government $47 billion. That was the case, Bond said, because the tax cut prompted investors to cash out of old investments they were staying in to avoid taxes and reinvest in assets that were more productive.

Numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, combined with other economic indicators, signal a healthy and growing economy, Bond said. That means the tax relief plan is working, he said. More than 5.2 million jobs were created since August 2003 and the economy has shown 32 consecutive months of job growth, he said.

"To keep the economy moving forward, Congress needs to continue to support pro-growth policies and resist raising taxes," he said.

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