Kerry Unveils Economic Plan, Blasts Bush's 'Failed' Policies

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2008 | 8:21pm EDT

( - Democrat John Kerry's economic plan unveiled Friday includes a tax hike for upper-income Americans, an end to corporate tax deferral for companies that earn profits overseas, and a five percent tax cut on the corporate rate.

Speaking at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich., Kerry said job creation was the most important economic issue facing Americans, who have lost confidence in the president's economic leadership.

"Too many that I've spoken with in town meetings, coffee shops, malls across this nation have lost confidence that we have a president who wakes up every morning ready to fight for their jobs, their families and for our economic future. With your help, that is the kind of president that I intend to be," the presidential candidate pledged.

"Instead of giving us an economy that creates jobs and opportunity, our present leadership has given us wedge issues designed to divide Americans. Instead of a real economic plan, they've given us the old politics of negative attacks," Kerry said.

"The truth is, this president doesn't have a record to run on, but a record to run from, and that's what he's doing," he said, "a record of negative job growth and stagnant incomes with long-term unemployment at its highest levels in 20 years and manufacturing jobs at a 50-year low."

Kerry claims that, under President Bush's leadership, three million more Americans "have slipped into poverty and 4 million more have lost their health insurance," while families face the biggest college tuition increase in history. "Bankruptcies and foreclosures are the highest ever," he added.

"We've gone from record surpluses to record deficits. America cannot afford four more years of a president who is the first president to lose jobs since Herbert Hoover and the Great Depression," the Massachusetts senator said.

Kerry also recounted the words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and blasted Bush for not trying a different approach on the economy.

"When Franklin Roosevelt sought the presidency, he pledged bold, persistent experimentation. He said take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try something else, but above all try something else," Kerry said.

"But President Bush took a method and tried it. It failed. But he stubbornly refuses to admit it, and his only answer to failure is more of the same. He tried tax giveaways for the wealthy, and the budget went into deficit, and the country lost jobs. So he tried it again, and the budget went deeper into deficit and the country lost more jobs," he said.

"He tried it a third time and the country went into record deficit and all those wasted billions still haven't brought back the jobs America lost over the last three years. Now his major proposal is tax cuts that won't even take effect until seven years from now," Kerry added.

As part of his economic plan, Kerry plans to roll back tax cuts for those who make over $200,000 a year, but the middle class would continue to benefit from the Bush tax cut.

"I will roll back the tax cuts for those who make over $200,000 a year so that we can invest in health care and education, because that's the right thing to do for America. And everything that the Bush campaign is trying to do is designed to distort one clear fact - my plan doesn't raise taxes on the middle class. My plan cuts taxes for the 98 percent of Americans who make under $200,000 a year," Kerry said.

He also plans to get rid of a tax incentive that allows companies to move jobs overseas and defer paying taxes on those profits.

"We now have a tax code that does more to reward companies for moving overseas than it does to reward them for creating jobs here in America," Kerry said.

"So, if I am elected president, I will fight for the most sweeping international tax law reform in 40 years, a plan to replace tax incentives to take jobs offshore with new incentives for job creation on our own shores," Kerry said, adding that a company that relocates overseas could avoid paying taxes "perhaps forever."

The Democrat also pledged to create 10 million jobs in four years. "I won't tell you that we can bring back every lost industry or every lost job or protect every job, but my plan will enable our economy to create jobs and to keep more good jobs here in America," he said.

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