- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 21, 2003

WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (UPI) — President George W. Bush, facing stiff opposition on Capitol Hill to his economic growth plan, was meeting Tuesday with 25 economists in what the White House characterized as "a bid to build support" for it.

The economists included professors from universities such as Harvard and Stanford and economists from corporations such as Bank of America, Bear Sterns and JP Morgan Chase.

"It's a bid to build support," spokesman Ari Fleischer said.

It will help build the case for the proposals as the economists "go back and spread the word."

Bush's $674 billion proposal includes accelerated tax breaks for citizens, the end to dividend taxes and larger capital investment deductions.

Bush believes money taxpayers save will be spent in the marketplace, thus spurring economic growth.

Democrats charge the package favors better-off taxpayers and will contribute to the country's growing deficit.

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