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Public Statements

Congressional Budget for the U.S. Government for Fiscal Year 2004

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KERRY. Mr. President, as we all know, consumer confidence is at its record lowest level in 10 years. There are 300,000 Americans who lost their jobs in February alone—2.5 million in the last 2 years. State and local governments are in trouble. Families and businesses are having trouble. We are running Federal deficits as far as the eye can see. And we are at war.

My amendment tries to avoid saddling the next generations with debt by offering a $150 billion tax cut to average Americans over the course of the next 2 years, contemplating a payroll tax holiday, paid for in the outyears.

It will strengthen our economy by putting money as a stimulus into the pockets of Americans now. And it does not take a dime out of Social Security or Medicare.

We can give every American worker $750 this year. If you are married with children and are both working, you would get $1,500, which is more than with the Bush tax cut, without any of the negative impact in the long run.

It does not raise taxes. It simply avoids going forward with the worst components of the President's proposal. It is not a tax increase; it is simply not giving the cut, which is unwise and nonstimulative and takes from our children.

I hope my colleagues will support it.

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