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Bush asks US Congress to make tax cuts permanent

US President George W Bush used his weekly radio address to review some of the domestic themes likely to be addressed in his State of the Union speech scheduled for January 31 this year.

india Updated: Jan 22, 2006 05:02 IST

US President George W Bush used his weekly radio address to review some of the domestic themes likely to be addressed in his State of the Union speech scheduled for January 31 this year.

Speaking on tax cuts, energy costs and rise in cost of health care, the president took partial credit on Saturday for the current upswing in the US economy and urged the Congress to make the tax cuts permanent.

According to Bush, the tax cuts would help small businesses as they pay at individual income tax rates.

"Unfortunately, just as we are seeing how our tax cuts have created jobs and opportunity, some in Washington want to repeal the tax relief. Others want to just let it expire in a few years," he said.

At the insistence of senior administration strategists, the Republicans are hoping to make tax cuts one of the major issues in this off-year Congressional elections in November.

Bush has already started making his campaign appeals stressing that tax cuts have strengthened the US economy.

"To keep our economy growing and our small-business sector strong, we need to ensure that you keep more of what you earn - so Congress needs to make the tax cuts permanent," he said.

Meanwhile, the Democrats have been hammering away at the tax cut theme of the White House, trying to drive home the point that tax cuts are only for the wealthy five per cent of the taxpayers and that the middle class hardly benefits.

"Doesn't the president know that real wages are actually falling?" asked liberal Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy earlier this week.

First Published: Jan 22, 2006 05:02 IST