Published January 13, 2015
Promising to aid all Americans and not just the wealthy, President Bush announced Thursday that he will detail his economic stimulus package next week.
"I'm concerned about all people," Bush told reporters during a tour of his Texas ranch. "I understand the politics of economic stimulus that some would like to turn this into class warfare."
Bush refused to detail the plan's contents and aides insist that the proposed package is not yet complete.
He did say that he is worried about job creation.
"Next week, when I talk about the economic stimulus package, I will talk about how to create jobs, how best to create jobs as well as how to take care of people who don't have jobs," he said.
Though the president had considered seeking an acceleration of tax breaks he won from Congress in 2001, some advisers have suggested that he not propose speeding up tax cuts for top-income earners -- those who pay 38.6 percent for income over $311,950 -- but rather speed up breaks for middle- and upper-income brackets below that level.
The president could extend new benefits for shareholders' dividends. There also may be new tax breaks for investors and additional depreciation breaks for businesses.
Bush tipped his hand on the timing of the new plan's rollout on a day of mixed news regarding the economy.
The Labor Department reported that the number of newly laid-off Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits rose by 13,000 last week after declining for two consecutive weeks.
Some 403,000 people filed new claims for jobless benefits last week, up from 390,000 new filings the week before, the department said.
On the flip side, U.S. manufacturing activity was up in December, the first growth in four months. It was not immediately clear whether that momentum could be sustained, a private industry group said.
The Institute for Supply Management said Thursday that its index of business activity was 54.7 in December, a marked improvement from the 49.2 reading in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.