While political pundits agree President George W. Bush appeared personable and well-organized during his first televised speech before Congress on Tuesday night, they disagree on the merits of his budget plan.
The plan, dubbed "A Blueprint for Progress," was formally presented to Congress on Wednesday and includes a $1.6 trillion tax cut, while increasing spending for education and defense.
But the proposal calls for reductions in the budgets of several top government departments -- including justice and transportation.
UNC political science Professor George Rabinowitz said he believes criticism over the tax cut centers on its size and concerns over who would benefit most from the plan. "I think one of the main concerns is the extent of the tax cut and the extent to which the tax cuts benefit the wealthy as opposed to the lower income," he said.
Bush's plan calls for reducing taxes in all tax brackets, which now range from 15 percent to 39 percent. Each would be lowered by roughly 5 percent.
Opponents have argued the cut would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, despite the similar percentages.
Rabinowitz also said he questions Bush's use of 10-year projections in outlining his budget plan and said he thinks it is better to re-evaluate the economy every two years. "It makes more sense to have a short-term horizon," he said.
But Chad Cowan, director of communications for the fiscally conservative think tank Americans for Tax Reform, said he believes Bush's call for a tax cut is a step in the right direction and said he does not understand the concerns of opponents to the plan.
"How someone could say that the plan the president is proposing is unfair -- I don't know how they could say that."