Bush: Tax-Relief is 'Good People Policy'

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:27 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at a Republican retreat in Williamsburg, Va., President George W. Bush welcomed the GOP legislators to visit him in the White House, but warned "just don't take any silverware", joking about the Clintons' last minute gifts.

"For those of you who've been to our office, thanks for coming. For those of you who have not been to our office, you're coming, just don't take any silverware," he said.

The president said he is committed to setting a positive tone for the country and stressed his commitment to tax-relief and faith-based initiatives, as well as modernizing Medicare.

President Bush also stressed his commitment to strengthening the military, saying, "The mission is to be prepared to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.

"We have an obligation to the members of Congress to present a strategic vision about what the military ought to look like. We've got an unbelievable opportunity as we go into the 21st century to refashion how war is fought and won and therefore how the peace is kept. It's a remarkable moment, but it's incumbent upon those of us in the executive branch---Secretary Rumsfeld and our policy team---to present to you a blueprint about what the military ought to look like and where the priorities ought to be."

President Bush talked about the importance of implementing high standards and an accountability system in education.

"Guess what happens in systems when you don't measure? Inner-city [children] just get shuffled through the school system," Bush said.

President Bush repeated his commitment to tax-relief, noting that it's not only good economic policy, but it's "good people policy".

He gave the example of a single mother who makes $22,000 annually and pays a higher rate on the extra dollar earned than someone making $200,000 annually.

The rising cost of energy prices coupled with the slowing economy is another reason, Bush said, the nation needs a tax cut.

"If you're a family of four making $50,000 a year, under my plan, your taxes go from $4,000 a year to $2,000. That's $2,000 extra dollars. That's a lot for somebody struggling," Bush said.