Yahoo! News: “With no fanfare, President Bush (news – web sites) on Friday signed the most sweeping rewrite of corporate tax law in nearly two decades, showering $136 billion in new tax breaks on businesses, farmers and other groups.
Intended to end a bitter trade war with Europe, the election-year measure was described by supporters as critically necessary to aid beleaguered manufacturers who have suffered 2.7 million lost jobs over the past four years.
But opponents charged that the tax package had grown into a massive giveaway that will add to the complexity of the tax system and end up rewarding multinational companies that move jobs overseas. It also will swell the nation’s huge budget deficit.
There was no ceremony for the bill-signing. White House press secretary Scott McClellan announced it on Air Force One as Bush flew to a campaign appearance in Pennsylvania. The handling of the corporate tax bill was in contrast to Bush’s action on Oct. 4 when he sat before television cameras on a stage in Des Moines, Iowa, to sign three tax-cut breaks popular with middle-class voters and reviving other tax incentives for businesses.
Bush’s campaign rival, Sen. John Kerry (news – web sites), missed the vote on the corporate tax breaks. Kerry spokesman Phil Singer said there were many important things in the bill but that ‘George Bush (news – web sites) filled the bill up with corporate giveaways and tax breaks for multinational companies that send jobs overseas. In his first budget, John Kerry will call for the repeal of all the unwarranted international tax breaks that George Bush included in this bill.’ “
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