Cheney addresses Pa. audience

February 8, 2008 7:29:05 PM PST
A plan to deliver rebates to most taxpayers and tax relief to businesses this spring is only a temporary solution for the nation's economic woes, Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday.

President Bush is pushing Congress to make permanent his 2001 and 2003 tax cuts - many of which are set to expire in 2010 - under a record $3.1 trillion budget he recently proposed.

"After we address the vital economic concerns of the moment, we'll still have even more important work to do on taxes," Cheney told an audience of more than 200 at a fundraiser for the state Republican Party. "Without action by Congress, most of the tax relief we've delivered over the past seven years will be taken away."

The House and Senate passed the economic stimulus plan on Thursday and Bush is expected to sign next week. Within a few months, it will send rebates of $600 to $1,200 to most taxpayers and $300 checks to disabled veterans, the elderly and other low-income people.

"The best way to promote economic growth is to put more tax money back into the hands that earned it," Cheney said.

Cheney's 20-minute speech also touched on terrorism, the Iraq war and the budget, but he did not discuss the current presidential campaign or Arizona Sen. John McCain, who moved closer to becoming the GOP nominee after his main rival Mitt Romney suspended his campaign Thursday.

The event kicked off the state party's 2008 fundraising campaign and came on the eve of its winter meeting. State GOP Executive Director Luke Bernstein said his party hopes to raise at least $8 million for this year's races, and Friday's event raised "well over" $150,000.

Party Chairman Rob Gleason and both Pennsylvania members of the Republican National Committee have endorsed McCain. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge, a national co-chairman of McCain's campaign, is expected to push for a state committee endorsement at Saturday's meeting.