Bush's 2000 Tax-Cut Promises

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As the GOP convention gets underway, CBS News follows up on some of the campaign promises candidate Bush made at the 2000 convention. Mika Brzezinski scores Mr. Bush's tax cut plan.

At the Republican convention four years ago then governor and candidate George W. Bush vowed to cut taxes.

"We will reduce tax rates for everyone in every bracket,'' said Bush in one 2000 appearance.

Four years later, as the President prepares to step up to the podium again, his record speaks for itself.

Harvard Professor Roger Porter, who has worked for three Republican Administrations, says the President has kept his word through new tax policies that included across the board tax cuts, doubling the child care credit, and a reduction in estate taxes.

"He got an enormous amount done,'' said Porter, with the Kennedy School of Government.

"There is no question whatsoever that an objective observer would have to conclude that he did in fact achieve the goals that he established,'' said Porter.

The Democratic response?

"Wrong goals,'' said Lawrence White, with NYU's Stern School of Business.

White points out that a lot has changed in four years -- the dotcom bubble bursting, corporate scandals, 911, the war in Iraq.

When pressed, Lawrence admits that Bush did accomplish what he set out to do: "Yes, he did,'' said White. But he cited growing deficits.

"And we have to deal with the long run Social Security and Medicare problems."

President Bush insists his tax plan is on track and needs more time.

"It's working! It's working. The economy is strong and getting stronger,'' said Bush on the campaign trail this year, amid chants of "Four more years."

Four more years … a time frame that his challenger says would work – for the wealthy.

"The tax burden of the middle class in America has gone up … and the tax burden of the wealthiest people in the country has gone down,'' said Sen. John Kerry.

And in his speech on Thursday, President Bush is expected to "spread the wealth" by proposing his tax cuts become permanent.

"I believe America is ready for a new beginning,'' said candidate Bush back in 2000.

What voters must decide is whether a plan designed four years ago, will meet their needs four years from now.

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    David Hancock is a home page editor for CBSNews.com.