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Kerry Talks Jobs

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer

Candidate: John F. Kerry

Markets: Ohio, Upstate New York

Images: Kerry addressing union workers, greeting construction workers in hard hats; a shuttered factory; assembly-line workers

Producer: Riverfront Media

Time: 30 seconds

Audio: (Kerry): Three million jobs lost . . . that is an astonishing failure.

(Narrator): John Kerry's got the strength and experience to fight for America's jobs.

(Kerry): We need to be on the side of America's workers.

(Narrator): End tax breaks that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas. New incentives to create and keep good jobs here. A real plan to get health care costs under control.

(Kerry): George Bush won't do it. I will.

Analysis: Kerry, under growing pressure from John Edwards on the trade issue, is increasingly focusing on jobs. But his proposals seem modest compared with the magnitude of the problems that have caused a net loss of 2.9 million jobs under President Bush. Corporations ship jobs overseas not only because of tax breaks-as much as $40 billion a year for firms setting up shop in Bermuda, according to one federal audit- but because of lower labor costs. Aides could not put a price tag on how much would be saved by repeal, or by Kerry's incentives (lower rates for manufacturers who simply stay put and a tax credit for hiring by such companies). Kerry is also pushing an energy program he says would create 500,000 jobs. Although the Massachusetts senator has not previously emphasized the cost-cutting aspect of his health plan, the ad refers to a proposal that rewards companies for reducing premiums. This ad is a shift from a series highlighting his Vietnam War service in favor of the Democrats' favorite bread-and-butter issue.

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