Tax code 'top priority' for Bush


Overhauling an excessively complicated US tax code is a "top priority" of the Bush administration over the next four years, treasury secretary Mr John Snow said yesterday.

"This administration is committed to that task, and we will get it done," Mr Snow said in prepared remarks at a two-day economic conference sponsored by the White House.

Much of the tax reform effort is expected to be masterminded by the treasury under Mr Snow's guidance.

His remarks were delivered at the beginning of a panel session on tax and regulatory issues where Mr Snow said economic prospects were sound.

At the White House, spokesman Mr Scott McClellan was asked whether the US could do more to bolster the beleaguered dollar's value and said that was in Snow's area of responsibility.

The dollar weakened yesterday after the treasury reported flows of capital into the United States in October came in below expectations, raising concerns it might herald a waning of overseas willingness to finance US deficits by buying US Treasury debt.

President Bush addresses the forum today and McClellan said Mr Bush would discuss the fiscal challenges of his second term, including record budget and trade deficits .