Washington (CNSNews.com) - Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday that President Bush's proposed $1.6 trillion dollar tax cut should be enacted "on principle."
He noted that the American people have not received "major tax relief" since the Reagan tax cuts in 1981. Since then, Cheney said, taxes have been inching their way back up.
"It is not for us to wait on events, but to act...We are going to stand for responsible government and lower taxes, for a durable peace, built on a strong, capable military.
"In recent years, government hasn't been content simply to raise taxes, but to raise them retroactively. Well, President Bush and I have an idea: if you can reach back in time to raise taxes, you can reach back in time to reduce them, and that's what we aim to do," Cheney said during a speech before the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
"The President's tax cut is pro-growth, and America needs it now," Cheney said, adding, "The tax cut is responsible, using only a portion of the surplus and reserving the rest for commitments such as Social Security, and paying down the national debt."
Cheney also vowed the Bush Administration will build a ballistic missile defense "at the earliest possible date."
"Our commitment to a stronger military was among the reasons our campaign succeeded. All across America, we promised people in the service that help was on the way. We now say to them and their families, help has arrived," said Cheney.
In a veiled reference to the previous Clinton administration, Cheney said, "The days of the war room and the permanent campaign are over. This president and this administration are going to change the tone in the city of Washington."
"Vice Presidents are expected to say such things," Cheney continued," but it's true and I know that millions of Americans strongly agree: We have a fine administration, an outstanding Cabinet and we're off to a great start."
Cheney received several rounds of applause during his address and left immediately after completing his remarks.