Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bush Unveils Debt Payoff Plan and Backdated Tax Cut

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Bush Unveils Debt Payoff Plan and Backdated Tax Cut

Article excerpt

Byline: LAUREN CHAMBLISS

IN HIS first major address to the world since becoming President, George W Bush last night presented the US Congress with a Budget including backdated tax cuts.

But Bush avoided focusing on the stalled economy, one of his favourite themes during the campaign. Analysts said it shows how serious the US downturn has become that the President has all but stopped talking about it.

"He's no longer saying the economy is going to get so bad we need a tax break," says Les Alperstein, director of Washington Analysis.

"Now that the economy is so bad, there is worry anything he says will talk it down and make it worse."

Instead, the new President stressed increased spending on education, health care and the Social Security pension programme as well as promising to pay down the debt with the enormous surplus. Bush said he was asking Congress to make the $1,600 billion ([pound]1,100 billion) tax cut retroactive to put money into the hands of American consumers faster.

The decision was praised by Wall Street economists.

Cynthia Latta, a forecaster with DRI/McGraw-Hill, says econometric models show the Bush tax plan, if put into place by July, would add 1/2% to America's growth in the second half of the year. …

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