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Edwards Pans Bush Economic Stimulus Ideas

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — North Carolina Sen. John Edwards said Sunday if he were president he would stimulate the economy with measures thatwould have a faster effect and cost less than the permanent tax cuts President Bush will unveil this week.

The Raleigh Democrat said he would extend unemployment benefits for people who have been jobless for six months and helpcash-strapped states pay for homeland security to keep police and firefighters on the job.

He said he would push to give each family a $500 tax credit to defray higher energy costs and allowbusinesses tax breaks on equipment they buy.

Edwards said his plan would cost $120 billion, compared to the Bush plan's estimated pricetag of $600 billion over 10 years.

"I think it's the most we can afford that actually has aneffect this year," Edwards said. "It also needs to be done inthe context of long-term fiscal discipline and long-term fiscalgrowth, economic growth."

Edwards made his comments during an extended interview broadcaston ABC's "This Week" program. It was his first appearance on oneof the Sunday political interview shows since announcing Thursdayhe would seek the Democratic Party nomination for president.

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