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  • From FMI:“Food retailers and wholesalers applaud President Bush for reasserting the urgent need to stimulate the economy with the most powerful twin engines of growth: business investment and consumer spending,” Food Marketing Institute (FMI) President and CEO Tim Hammonds said today, commenting on last night’s state-of-the-union address.

    “The case for this stimulus plan could not be more compelling.” said Hammonds. “Give immediate and substantial income tax cuts to 100 million small businesses and American families. Triple the amount that companies can expense to $75,000. Bolster public stock values by eliminating the tax on dividends.

    “To suggest we cannot afford these tax reforms because of federal deficits or the prospect of war is simply wrong. These are exactly the reasons we need them. Tax relief will create jobs and increase consumer spending. And increased stock values will stimulate public company investments in job-generating growth — measures that will also increase tax revenues and strengthen the economy.”

    Hammonds also praised President Bush’s call for medial liability reform, especially curbs on frivolous malpractice suits. “This is just what the doctor ordered — and what patients and employers desperately need. The double-digit growth in medical and insurance costs is crippling health care. Physicians are leaving states with prohibitive insurance costs, depriving patients of medical care for serious illnesses.

    “Employers face the grim choices of increasing premiums, co-pays and deductibles for their workers. And many small businesses are forced to contemplate eliminating health coverage altogether.”

    “We urge Congress to approve the economic stimulus package as soon as possible to infuse billions of dollars into our weak economy. We also call for quick action on a broad range of health care reforms, beginning with sound controls on medical liability.”

  • From IMRA: Following the State of the Union speech tonight, the International Mass Retail Association commended the President for continuing to advocate passage of his economic stimulus plan. IMRA strongly supports the Administration's economic agenda as a real solution for improving the nation's economy. IMRA also applauded the President's leadership regarding the current state of world affairs and efforts to improve the security of all Americans.

    "We support the President's economic stimulus package because it will put money back in consumers' pockets and paychecks sooner rather than later. We believe that the President's plan will create jobs and that it represents a long-term commitment to consumers and to businesses," said IMRA President Sandy Kennedy.

    IMRA called on Congress to move quickly on the President's proposals to accelerate the tax cuts that were approved in 2001, as this will increase the pace of the recovery and job creation. IMRA also supports ending the double taxation of dividends, another measure that will put money back into consumers' hands.

    "The mass retail industry has been an economic driver in our recovering economy, as consumer spending has maintained a steady pace," Kennedy said. "This is the right time for Congress to support consumers so that collectively they can help maintain the momentum toward full economic recovery."

    IMRA also pledged to continue working with the President to enhance homeland security. "IMRA will continue to work on securing our supply chain to strike a balance between trade facilitation and security. We will work closely with the White House on any security initiative to give business input and support," Kennedy said.

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