In televised debate, Walter Mondale (D) voices support for repealing President Bush\’s tax relief plan of 2001, which rebated taxes to 1.7 million Minnesotans.

WASHINGTON – Calling President Bush\’s historic tax relief plan of 2001 "dreadful," U.S. Senate candidate Walter Mondale (D-Minn) today said he would vote to repeal the only significant tax relief legislation in two decades.

The highly anticipated debate discussed a wide variety of issues important to Minnesota voters, but focused extensively on the tax issue, which strongly divided the two candidates.

Republican candidate Norm Coleman voiced his continuing support for the tax relief legislation, further demonstrating a fundamental difference between the two campaigns. Coleman also signed the Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which is a written promise to voters to "oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes." Mondale, who supported raising taxes in his 1984 campaign for the presidency, has refused to sign the No New Taxes Pledge.

"Norm Coleman got it right when he said there is a \’difference of visions\’ between himself and Mondale on the tax issue," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads ATR. "Mondale rashly supported hiking taxes in 1984, and with his words in today\’s debate, Minnesota taxpayers should be wary of trusting him again."

Since the inception of President Bush\’s tax relief plan in June of 2001, the average Minnesota household has saved $1,063, and the average individual has saved $411. If the tax cuts are allowed to sunset, or are repealed as Mondale has proposed, it would result in a one-year tax increase of $4,021 in 2011.

"Walter Mondale said he believes tax relief will hurt the economy," continued Norquist, "which is a direct affront to all taxpayers, entrepreneurs and investors who keep the economy moving forward. When Mondale says that tax relief \’undermines the possibility of relief for average Americans,\’ he obviously has not looked at the effects of the legislation, which has provided significant tax relief for all Minnesota families. Taxpayers in Minnesota should beware of Walter Mondale\’s rhetoric and record on taxes."