(Host) All three members of Vermont’s Congressional delegation say they strongly oppose President Bush’s plan to exempt stock dividends from the federal income tax. The president on Tuesday afternoon outlined a $674 billion tax cut plan that is designed to stimulate the national economy. The proposal would be phased in over 10 years.
The plan includes the stock dividend provision, an extension of unemployment benefits, an increase in child tax credits and an acceleration of previous tax cuts adopted by Congress.
Senator James Jeffords, who is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, says the plan won’t stimulate the economy because it’s based on faulty economic principles:
(Jeffords) “That’s just a bogus argument as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t believe that anybody seriously pursues it. But they do. His whole policy is doing what Republicans like to do and that is to cut federal spending and to increase tax deductions.”
(Host) Congressman Bernie Sanders says the plan is a payoff to Bush’s wealthy supporters because it allocates 50% of the tax cuts to people with incomes of $350,000 or more:
(Sanders) “Now why we need to give huge tax breaks to the very, very wealthiest people in this country? [To] cut back on health care for the elderly, cut back on our veterans’ needs, cut back on education, and run up a huge deficit makes absolutely no sense to me.”
(Host) Senator Patrick Leahy says he’s also concerned that the plan is tilted toward wealthy people. He says he’ll work with other Democrats in Congress to pass a tax cut bill that will have a much greater impact on low- and middle-income people.