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MITCHELL’S ECONOMIC PLAN CALLS FOR $100 BILLION IN DEFENSE CUTS

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Senate Democratic leader George Mitchell is calling for a five-year, $100 billion cut in defense spending as part of a broad plan to provide a quick response to the recession and investment for long-term growth.

In addition to the Pentagon reduction, Mitchell proposed Thursday a tax cut for middle Americans, one-time aid to state and local governments and tax policies to increase business investment and home ownership.For the long term, Mitchell said the country must have policies that support economic growth: "education and training, rebuilding the infrastructure and reforming our health-care system."

Mitchell mixed his proposals with sharp jibes at President Bush, complaining "there has been no leadership from the president.

"The outcome of 12 years of Republican trickle-down economic and tax policy is clear," he said. "Americans know that trickle-down busted their budgets, reduced their earning power and mortgaged their future. The American people know they've been trickled on long enough."

Mitchell also said, "Not since Herbert Hoover occupied the White House has a president been so consistently wrong in the judgment of the economy, so slow to see and feels the needs of Americans."