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    Bush Proposes Break to Small Businesses

    President to ask Congress to approve greater tax deductions to stimulate economy.

    O'FALLON, Mo. -- President George W. Bush said he would look to reward the "entrepreneurial spirit" of small businesses and their positive impact on the U.S. economy by asking Congress to give them a break on taxes and health care.

    "If small businesses are vital for the future of our country, if small businesses provide most of the new work for people looking for work and we're worried about people finding jobs, why don't we put something in place that encourages small business growth?" Bush said.

    The President said he would propose allowing small businesses to deduct the first $325,000 of investment in new plants and equipment, currently limited to $200,000. Under the proposal, businesses would also be able to take $40,000 of the deduction in the first year, rather than $24,000 under current law.

    Bush said he also would ask Congress to allow large numbers of small businesses to band together into a single health plan, which would reduce the cost of coverage by spreading risk over a larger number of employees.

    Additional details of the plan will be available over the next few weeks, Bush said. He hopes to have a bill passed through Congress by the summer.

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