To continue promoting “pro-growth policies,” he called on the Congress to make the tax relief permanent and called for the abolition of the “death tax,” which is due to expire for one year in 2010 but resurface in 2011.
“It’s going to make estate planning awfully interesting in the year 2010,” Bush said. “I want you to know that the death tax takes up more than 300 pages of laws and regulations in the current tax code. By getting rid of the death tax forever, we have simplified the code by 300 pages. And not only that, it’s good public policy.”
To spur economic growth, the White House also called for enacting regulatory reform to streamline regulations and reduce paperwork to alleviate the burdens that handicap small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Association Health Plans
To make health care more accessible and affordable for small businesses and their employees, Bush called for the adoption of association health plans.
“Health care premiums have risen by 83% per employee over the last decade. Fast-rising medical costs are a drag on this economy, and so there’s some things we need to do together. One is expand health savings accounts; two, promote association health plans. I believe small businesses should be allowed to join together to pool risk so they can negotiate for health care contracts just like big companies are able to do,” he said.
NAHB has been a long-time proponent of class-action tort reform and the President said that this would be one of his priorities in the coming year.
“Congress must know that excess litigation is not only a drag on our economy, but creates fear and uncertainty for people in the business community. To keep the economy growing strong in the future, we have got to lift the burden and reform our legal systems. This nation needs class-action lawsuit reform. The nation needs to have asbestos legal reform. And this nation needs medical liability reform. I’m looking forward to working with Congress to get legal reform done quickly in the upcoming legislative session.”
Remarking on how the economy continues to grow and remain on the right track, Bush cited the important role of the housing sector, stating that “housing ownership and housing starts are still very robust and strong.”
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