- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2003

From combined dispatches

SAN DIEGO — Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut Democrat, said yesterday that President Bush is presiding over a new economy with old thinking and failing to reward innovation at the workplace.

On the day that Mr. Bush signed a 10-year, $350 billion tax-cut package, the 2004 presidential candidate highlighted the 2.7 million job losses during Mr. Bush’s tenure and the drop last year in the number of hours Americans worked.

In the first quarter of this year, weekly earnings adjusted for inflation fell 1.5 percent, the biggest drop in more than a decade.

“The administration of George W. Bush has an old economic plan for a new economy,” Mr. Lieberman told supporters at the University of California at San Diego. “And in so doing, it has let the sparks of innovation fall to the floor.”

Mr. Lieberman said that as president, he would work toward ensuring that U.S. productivity grows at 3 percent annually by the end of his first term — a move that he said would double family incomes every generation.

The country had weak productivity from the early 1970s to the early 1990s, but the rates started to improve after 1995 to greater than 2 percent annually.

Mr. Lieberman’s goal of 3 percent growth would double the rates seen for two decades before 1995 but is less than the 4.8 percent achieved last year.

The Lieberman campaign says recent productivity gains have been linked to rising unemployment, and his economic plan would focus on creating more jobs.

Mr. Lieberman said he would reach his goal by passing tax cuts that would spark productivity and allow the private sector to produce high-wage jobs, eliminating the capital-gains tax for new investments in small companies.

He also pushed for a $40 billion increase in funding for research and development, doubling funding for the National Science Foundation and supporting research on nanotechnology.

“We will not be strong at home unless we innovate, create jobs and grow our middle class once again,” he said.

Mr. Lieberman also said he would help to create the work force of the future by improving science and math education and by increasing the number of college students who study science and engineering.

During his speech, Mr. Lieberman also announced his endorsement by a dozen Silicon Valley and high-tech industry leaders, including venture capitalist John Doerr.

As part of the Northern California-based Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mr. Doerr sponsored several major investments in such companies as Compaq, Amazon.com, Netscape and Sun Microsystems.

In 2000, Mr. Doerr advised Democrat Al Gore’s presidential campaign, in which Mr. Lieberman ran for vice president.

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