President Bush looked to America's future Tuesday in promoting deficit reduction and a controversial capital gains tax cut as steps to "give the high five to high tech" and keep the country "unbeatable" in world markets.
In the second day of a cross-country trip to tout the record of his first 100 days in office, Bush traveled to a Ford Aerospace facility in California's Silicon Valley to promote increased federal support for science and an economic program viewed with skepticism by Democrats.The president claimed almost 20 million jobs have been created during the 76-month Reagan-era economic expansion and said, "Through investments to increase competitiveness, we can do still better."
In particular, he reaffirmed his hope of cutting the federal budget deficit to $99.4 billion in the next fiscal year, reducing the capital gains tax to encourage investment, increasing funds for NASA, elevating the status of the White House science adviser and moving forward with programs such as the superconducting super collider and the development of satellites like those produced by Ford Aerospace to "keep America No. 1 in the 21st century."
"These steps and others can help us walk the unexplored frontiers of high-technolgy, for high-tech is potent, precise and in the end unbeatable," Bush said. "My friends, I want to give the high five to high-tech. And I want to do it by investing in competitiveness."
Bush took issue with those who criticize his plan for capital gains - profits on investments - as "a tax break for the rich." He noted Japan, the nation's second-largest trading partner and chief competitor on the international market, has "taxed them little if at all."