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John Snow Stresses Bush Administration's Commitment To Tax Reform

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

17 December 2004

Delivering his opening statement on Wednesday at the Economic Forum Panel on Tax and Regulatory Burdens, US Treasury Secretary John Snow stressed the importance of tax reform to the Bush administration.

Quoting former President, Ronald Reagan, who referred to the application of the complicated US tax code as a "daily mugging", Mr Snow explained that:

"Our panel will address the burden of taxes and regulations on our economy. It is, and has been, a top priority of the Bush Administration to be mindful of those burdens, and to reduce them whenever possible. The President believes that this is critical in the effort to make America the best place in the world in which to invest and create jobs."

He continued:

"Today tax rates are lower for every American who pays taxes - lower for families, lower for workers and entrepreneurs alike and lower for investors. Tax rates on capital have been significantly reduced. The lower tax rates on dividends, on capital gains, on small business, on families and workers have put us on a path of economic growth and strong job creation."

"High tax rates hurt an economy but so can regulation, which in many ways acts like a tax. The President knows this and has directed his Administration to make sure that new regulations do not cost our economy more than they are worth. Regulation can be particularly harmful to small businesses who don't have the resources - lawyers and accountants - to deal with the burdens."

Explaining the reasoning behind the linking of two seeming separate issues, the Treasury Secretary observed that:

"Some in Washington, DC might question why we would combine a panel discussion on taxes and regulations. But I can promise you that it does not seem like an odd combination of topics to any business owner. The burdens imposed by both taxes and regulations feel very similar to the country's most modestly sized powerhouses of job creation. Both high taxes and excess regulations are a drag on their companies and a drag on our overall economy."

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