WASHINGTON (B)--President-elect George W. Bush Dec. 15 said he was concerned about a "possible slowdown" in the U.S. economy and for that reason, stressed the need to reduce "marginal" income tax rates

In remarks to reporters in Austin, TX, that were monitored, Bush said he intended to press ahead with his proposal for across-the-board income tax cuts, notwithstanding comments by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-IL. Dec. 14. Hastert said Dec. 14 that he expected progress on tax cuts would be "incremental" and that initial efforts would be directed toward such proposals as relief on the marriage tax penalty and the estate tax.

Bush made a $1.3-trillion across-the-board cut in tax rates a key plank of his campaign, but there have been indications from congressional leaders that the proposal will be scaled back to about half that size. In his comments on the economy, Bush ticked off a variety of concerns, including energy prices and developments in the automobile industry.

"All of us ought to be concerned about high energy prices," he said. Bush stressed the need for a national energy policy that increases energy supplies.

He also said we "have to be worried" about the ability of the United States to continue attracting foreign capital to ensure the economy continues to expand.

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