WHITE HOUSE (AP) -- President Bush is calling for about $145 billion worth of tax relief and other incentives to stimulate a sluggish economy. Bush says a stimulus package would have to represent roughly one percent of the gross domestic product to be effective. He says the package would have to include tax incentives for business investment and "direct and rapid" tax relief for individuals. Says Bush, "Letting Americans keep more of their money should increase consumer spending." Bush is calling on Congress to send him legislation as soon as possible so the economy keeps growing and so that jobs are created. The president and Congress are scrambling to take action in an effort to stave off a possible recession. Bush spoke at a manufacturing plant in Frederick, Maryland -- hours after he outlined what he'd like to see in a stimulus package. In the White House announcement, Bush supported as much as $150 billion in tax relief. He said there must be tax incentives for business investment and quick tax relief for individuals. Bush said the package should represent about one percent of the gross domestic product, or about $150 billion. As he visited the plant in Maryland, Bush said, "We need to get this deal done and get it out." He said he thinks there can be an agreement on a growth package "very quickly." He said earlier that there's a "risk of a downturn." Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson says the largest part of the stimulus package would be targeted to individual taxpayers. One Republican official says Bush is hoping to target about $100 billion toward individuals, and about $50 billion businesses. Congressional leaders have been working on a broader package that would also include a temporary increase in food stamps. And, there'd be an extension of unemployment benefits, which also could increase.
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