(CNSNews.com) - "The tax relief we passed is working," Vice President Dick Cheney said on Monday, drawing a distinction between the tax-cutting policies of the Bush administration - and Democrat John Kerry's record of opposing tax cuts.
In a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Cheney emphasized positive aspects of the economic recovery made on the Bush administration's watch.
Cheney spoke as Democrat John F. Kerry began a two-day campaign visit to California, where Kerry planned to concentrate on President Bush's "failed economic strategy," as his campaign put it.
In recent days, Kerry has slammed the Bush administration for the loss of more than 2 million private-sector jobs - "the result of a lack of confidence in the economy and George Bush's neglect of America's workers," his campaign said.
On Monday, Vice President Cheney said the economy lost nearly one million jobs after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Cheney said President Bush believes the best way to create jobs is to "leave more money in the hands of the people who earn it."
The Bush administration's tax cuts are having the desired effect, Cheney said: "Real disposable income is growing strongly, meaning that American workers have more money to spend, save and invest."
"Manufacturing activity is increasing," he added. "Business investment is growing. Inflation remains low. Mortgage rates and interest rates are near historic lows. Home ownership is at the highest rate ever. And the labor market is gaining strength.
"Thanks to our productive workers and entrepreneurs, the United States of America is the fastest growing major industrial economy in the world."
Cheney noted that during the Bush administration, the economy has added jobs in each of the last six months, but he admitted there's still more work to do - since "many of our fellow citizens are out of work."
The administration is urging Congress to make President Bush's tax cuts permanent, and on Monday, Cheney suggested that Sen. Kerry would roll back those tax cuts if he is elected president.
Cheney noted multiple cases where Kerry has voted against proposed tax cuts, and he called Kerry one of the most "reliable pro-tax votes in the U.S. Senate."
On Monday, in response to Cheney's comments, a Kerry campaign spokesperson said Sen. Kerry advocates tax cuts for the middle class.
Democrats, including Sen. Kerry, have blasted the Bush tax cuts as giveaways to the wealthy.
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