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Graham to pitch economic platform

By BILL ADAIR, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published July 17, 2003

ROANOKE, Va. - Sen. Bob Graham today will unveil an economic plan that would repeal some of the Bush administration's tax cuts to pay for more school construction, transportation spending and investments in high technology.

The plan, to be unveiled during a speech in New Hampshire, is the first major policy proposal from the Florida Democrat and presidential candidate. It would repeal cuts that help the wealthiest taxpayers to pay for new programs aimed at middle-class Americans.

"We're going to start by rolling back the tax cuts that have been recently passed that would go primarily to the upper 2 percent of income earners," Graham said while campaigning in Roanoke.

His plan would reinstate a top rate of 38.6 percent - it was lowered to 35 by the Bush cuts - and create a new "millionaire's bracket" of 40 percent.

Graham said his plan would prompt "a significant increase in economic activity ... by putting more money in the pockets of working Americans" and creating new jobs.

Graham would use the additional money each year for $12.5-billion in school construction, $14-billion for highway construction and about $4-billion for rail and transit.

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