SAN ANTONIO, Texas – Calling President Bush's tax cuts the wrong way to stimulate the U.S. economy, Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt (search) says he would rescind all of them during his first week in the White House, if elected to the nation's highest office.
Gephardt, in a campaign swing through Central Texas on Wednesday, called Bush's tax cut plans ineffective. Democrats have criticized the measures as benefiting only the most wealthy Americans while failing to stimulate spending and job creation in a "trickle-down" method.
That money could be used instead to provide tax credits to businesses that fully insure their employees, said the U.S. representative from Missouri.
"In the end, my view of the world is very different from George Bush's," Gephardt said Wednesday to a crowd of about 100 on the patio of downtown's Club Giraud.
Gephardt promoted universal health insurance (search) and a sophisticated foreign policy to deal with terrorism. Bush's foreign policy has dealt with terrorism's symptoms, not its root causes, he said.
"We will not solve this problem by sending the military all over the world," he said, proposing a "nation-building corps that will help people have decent governance so we can convince people not to become terrorists."
Gephardt gave up his job as House minority leader in January and announced his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. He called Texas a vital state for votes.
He is among several hopefuls that include U.S. Sens. John Edwards of North Carolina, John Kerry of Massachusetts and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut; former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean; former Illinois Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun; and the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Gephardt criticized school funding under the Bush administration. Education is improved not by fixing buildings, but by fostering a pro-education climate at home, he said.
On the energy front, he proposed a "long-term energy project" that explores renewable resources and lessens oil "dependence on unstable regimes in the Middle East."
Gephardt also praised the actions of the 54 Texas Democrats known as the "Killer Ds" (search) who walked out of the Legislature and fled to Oklahoma in May to bust a quorum on a proposed redistricting bill.