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Kennedy Criticizes Bush on Taxes and Enron, but Praises Him on War and Education Policy (posted January 13, 2002)
Appearing on the WJAR-TV show "10 News Conference", Congressman Patrick Kennedy criticized President George W. Bush for his large tax cut passed last year, but praised him for his handling of the war in Afghanistan. Asked about Bush's tax policy, Kennedy said, "the Democrats want to make sure we don't end up borrowing money from Social Security to end up paying for Bush's tax cut." Complaining that so much of the tax cut went to the weathiest taxpayers in America, the congressman said that it was "immoral" for one percent of people in the country to have gotten 45 percent of the tax cut.

However, Kennedy was much more positive about Bush's handling of the current war. "I think the president has done an excellent job and I am proud to have supported him," Kennedy said.

In other comments, Kennedy praised Providence School Superintendent Diana Lam, saying she "is a terrific superintendent." He said the recently passed education legislation "will go a long way towards improving our schools." When asked about the bankruptcy filing of the energy company Enron, Kennedy cited it as an example of "corporate greed" and asked "how much did Enron participate in crafting of energy policy" during the Bush administration.

Continuing his recent theme of having brought back a lot of federal money to Rhode Island, Kennedy noted that grants and contracts ear-marked for Rhode Island had risen to $120 million over the last year, in part due to his efforts on the House Appropriations Committee. "We are getting money back to this state where it counts," he explained. When asked about opponents' criticisms that he had spent too much time out of state, Kennedy said he had been in the state 142 days in 2001 and that he looked forward to answering his critics. "I have a story to tell", he noted. Copyright 2000Karen Martin Media Services