Edwards criticizes Bush tax proposal
ASPEN – Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards criticized a proposal from President Bush to simplify corporate taxes, saying it will only make the rich more wealthy and hurt middle-class Americans.”This is completely out of whack with what America should be doing,” Edwards said at an Aspen fundraiser Thursday.In Washington, Bush said that he’s interested in exploring the possibility of providing tax relief to U.S. corporations. He has acknowledged that such a move would face challenges in the Democratic-controlled Congress, and he insisted it needed to be structured in a way as to not worsen the government’s balance sheets.Edwards told supporters that current federal tax policy favors wealth over work, allowing the rich to pay a 15 percent capital gains tax while forcing the middle class to pay much higher tax rates.Edwards said he wants to raise capital gains taxes to 28 percent for people making more than $250,000 a year. He also would expand the earned income tax credit, expand child care tax credits and provide matching funds for middle class workers who put money into savings.The candidate drew snickers from the crowd in this tony resort town when he agreed with a woman who said people earning $200,000 a year in communities like Aspen are considered middle class.”What she’s saying is true. Those are not rich people,” Edwards said. However, he said he had to draw the line somewhere and that $250,000 a year is a good figure for people to be considered wealthy.On health care, Edwards said there are too many lobbyists blocking change in a system he called dysfunctional. “You have to take them down,” he said.Edwards added that current federal housing subsidies are inadequate and promote segregation. The program, he said, needs more funding but should be restructured to promote racial and financially diverse neighborhoods.Arthur Greenberg, a lawyer from Los Angeles, agreed with Edwards that the national tax structure needs to be changed.”I’m prepared to pay for security, highways and education and living the good life in America,” Greenberg said.Ron Thompson, a 63-year-old retired engineer who has lived in Aspen for 35 years, said health care is his biggest issue in this election and he’s glad Edwards is making it his issue.”I’m retired, and I’m paying a lot for health care,” he said.
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