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Most Americans can see the real value of keeping the Bush tax cuts

July 27, 2008

Sen. John Kerry was trying to make a point unflattering to Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain recently - but an examination of his comment does just the opposite.

Appearing on a television interview show, Kerry - the Democrat presidential aspirant who lost to President George Bush in 2004 - followed his party's script precisely. It has been to suggest that if McCain wins the presidency in November, he will continue policies of the current Bush administration.

"If you like the Bush tax cut and what it's done to our economy, making wealthier people wealthier and the average middle class struggle harder, then John McCain is going to give you a third term of George Bush and (former White House adviser) Karl Rove," Kerry charged.

What, in truth, did the Bush tax cuts do for our economy? They slashed unemployment, for one thing: Last month the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, according to the Department of Labor. Five years ago it was 6.5 percent. About 5 million new jobs have been created during the past five years.

Average hourly wages have gone up, too. Last month, the seasonally adjusted average hourly wage was $18.01, again according to the Labor Department. That represents an increase of $2.66 during the past five years.

Kerry has been laboring under a handicap in his attacks against McCain - because, in 2004, he considered asking McCain to be his running mate in order to lure Republican voters to the ticket. He abandoned that idea - and now says that McCain has changed dramatically.

Indeed, some of McCain's ideas have changed - and he is far from a George Bush clone. His ideas on the economy include cuts in government spending, in addition to continuing tax cuts that have benefitted virtually all Americans.

Kerry's real gripe about the Bush tax cuts is that they do not agree with his liberal tax-and-spend philosophy. But they have been good for the vast majority of Americans - who are more capable than Kerry may wish of doing the math.



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