- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
Bush to tout ‘ownership society’
Question of the Day
With signs that the economic recovery may be cooling, President Bush and his advisers have decided to refocus his campaign on proposals he will champion under the banner of an “ownership society,” said Republican strategists close to the White House.
Mr. Bush will begin touting economic incentives he wants to enact in a second term, including private Social Security investment accounts, the promotion of homeownership and perhaps further tax cuts, said Republican officials who have participated in White House strategy sessions.
“If you know anything about [Bush political adviser] Karl Rove’s strengths, one of them is a sense of timing. What you will see is a forthcoming vision for a second term,” said a key strategist who advises the White House on economic policy.
“I think you will see the increasing emergence of what those core objectives will be as you move toward the convention. There’s a little testing of these going on right now but in the weeks to come you are going to see a lot of stuff,” he said.
Earlier this week, the White House released a partial preview its campaign strategy in a “talking points” paper sent to supporters that was titled “America’s Ownership Society: Expanding Opportunities.”
It calls for further reforms in the tax code to lower income tax rates on businesses, and possibly a sweeping revenue-neutral overhaul of the tax code, to lower the rates.
“This president is known for big bold initiatives, and I would expect nothing less when it comes to a second-term agenda,” said Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.
In an “Ask President Bush” campaign forum in Niceville, Fla., yesterday, Mr. Bush surprised his top advisers by saying that abolishing the federal income-tax system and replacing it with a national sales tax was “the kind of interesting idea that we ought to explore seriously.”
The idea of a national sales tax has never caught on politically, but Republican strategists close to the White House say that a revenue-neutral tax overall that would broaden the tax base and further lower the income-tax rates has been discussed in the president’s inner circle.
“You may see something major in that area of lower tax rates,” a Republican adviser to the White House said.
“I hear an awful lot about tax reform. But you would have to come up with a revenue-neutral plan at this juncture with the size of the deficit that we have,” said Bruce Josten, chief lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
In 2000, Mr. Bush ran on partially privatizing Social Security, an idea that polls show is particularly popular with younger workers, but the issue was pushed aside after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
He renewed his call for retirement investment accounts in a campaign appearance Monday, with the White House releasing a statement that said he wants to let workers “build a nest egg for retirement that they would own and control and could pass on to their families.”
Mr. Bush’s decision to reopen the debate over partially privatizing the venerable New Deal-era program has especially cheered his tax-cutting supporters.
“Bush opened the door for Social Security reform in the 2000 election, he has continued to champion reform throughout his first term, and now he has made Social Security a predominant part of his re-election agenda,” said former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp.
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world