DETROIT — While President Bush and presidential hopeful
John Kerry outlined the economic plans for their election campaigns
on Friday, neither presented new material but instead continued to
repeat past pledges of economic reform.

Kerry spoke at Wayne State University in Detroit, where he laid
out a “Jobs First” economic plan, while in Albuquerque,
N.M., Bush emphasized his economic plan’s ability to benefit
small businesses and workers.

The President discussed the importance of individual
homeownership and tax breaks to overall growth in the economy.

Meanwhile, Kerry pledged to create 10 million jobs in the next
four years through reforms he said he will outline in the coming
weeks. The focus of Friday’s speech however, was tax
reform.

“If I am elected President, I will fight for the most
sweeping international tax law reform in 40 years — a plan to
replace tax incentives to take jobs offshore with new incentives
for job creation on our own shores,” Kerry said.

Kerry restated his plans to roll back tax cuts for the
wealthiest Americans while re-investing “every dollar
saved” into the economy. But Friday, the discussion of tax
credits for small businesses and reducing corporate taxes by 5
percent to narrow the tax gap between corporations domestic and
overseas was new to Kerry’s platform.

“Some may be surprised to see a Democrat calling for lower
tax rates,” Kerry said. “The fact is I don’t care
about old debates, I care about getting the job done and creating
jobs in America.”

In addition to revising the tax code, Kerry discussed lowering
energy costs to reduce the burden on businesses and consumers while
creating half a million jobs in the renewable fuel sector to
decrease dependency on oil.

Both Bush and Kerry have called for development of new
industries and increased competition between companies. “When
you see a product that says ‘Made in the U.S.A’ on it,
you know you’ve got yourself a quality product,” Bush
said. “I want to see ‘Made in the U.S.A’ all over
the world.”

On Friday Kerry said, “No one should misunderstand me
— I am not a protectionist, I am a competitor. American
workers are the most competitive in the world and they deserve a
government that is as competitive as they are.”

Bush and Kerry also have focused on the technological sector,
specifically by proposing to bolster broadband technology and
similar industries. The president called for “universal,
affordable” access to broadband technology by 2007.

Bush tied access to broadband technology to price reduction
through competition. He also emphasized the importance of
competition for small businesses and homeownership as a reflection
of a growing economy.

“The role of government is to create an environment in
which the entrepreneurial spirit is strong and in which people are
able to realize their dreams,” Bush said. “People can
own their own business. People can own their own home. People have
a chance to say, ‘This is mine, this is my property.’
And we’re making good progress here, doing just
that.”

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