Michael S. Dukakis renewed his attack today on George Bush’s plan to reduce capital gains taxes, suggesting it would merely help the rich “hire a second butler.” Bush accepted the endorsement of a maritime union at a rowdy rally marred by protesters.
Campaigning less than two weeks before Election Day--and four days before Halloween--Dukakis said in Evergreen, Ill., that Bush’s tax plan was like “Halloween come early--a treat for the wealthiest 1% and a trick for the rest of us.”
The plan, Dukakis said, would “give the people at the top the money and hope the crumbs fall off for the rest of us.”
Boost for Economy
Bush has proposed reducing the top tax rate from 33% to 15% for capital gains, such as profits from sales of stocks, bonds or real estate. The Republican presidential nominee has defended his plan as a potential boon to the U.S. economy, contending people benefiting from the tax reduction would then increase their investing.
“Who’s he kidding?” Dukakis asked supporters in Evergreen Park, a suburb of Chicago. “What are they going to do with the extra money? Hire a second butler, a lifeguard for the pool?”
Bush, speaking at a rally in Tacoma, Wash., said, “This election is all about creating jobs and opportunity,” and he said his administration would be committed to keeping the economic expansion going.
Four Protesters Removed
Bush received the endorsement of the 50,000-member National Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Assn. at a rally where four protesters were pulled from the hall and more than a hundred demonstrators paraded outside.
The Republican presidential nominee largely ignored the protesters when he accepted the union’s support. But at one point, Bush reminded them that interest rates under President Jimmy Carter reached 21.5%, twice the present level.
During Bush’s speech, a handful of demonstrators in the civic auditorium began calling out to him. One man was immediately hustled away by two uniformed police officers. Later in the speech, three other people were taken out, one of them struggling strenuously and getting a bloody nose.
Signs for Dukakis
Outside the hall, demonstrators carried signs supporting Dukakis, AIDS victims and other causes.
Bush told the audience inside that the maritime union endorsement would “send a signal nationwide.”
Dukakis, trailing in national public opinion polls, referred in his remarks to Democratic President Harry S. Truman’s 1948 comeback victory. He was campaigning late in the day in Truman’s home state of Missouri, where a statewide poll indicated that Bush’s late August lead of nine points had dropped to one.
“Harry Truman was a fighter and so am I,” Dukakis said. “My friends, this election is up for grabs.”