January 29, 2004
I'm delighted for the 3rd time to participate in Ask the White House. I am optimistic with the economy. It is getting stronger. We are pleased that unemployment has declined from 6.3 to 5.7 percent. We know that more job creation is needed and we are optimistic that there will be more job creation in the weeks and months ahead. I'm glad I have the opportunity to respond to your questions.
Jon, from Queens writes:
Does the record deficit worry you? How will it be paid off and by whom?
Thanks for your question Jon. Budget deficits are appropriate and understandable in war or recession and we've had both. The current deficit is manageable and we are determined to bring it down. It is projected to peak in fy 2004 at 4 1/2 percent of GDP. But it is something that we will continue to monitor closely. The President 's budget for the next year limits non-security increases to less than one percent. Thanks to the economic growth fueled by the tax relief and spending restraint America is on a solid path to cutting the deficit in half to about 2 percent of GDP in the next five years.
Caleb, from Crawfordsville, IN writes:
Mr. Evans. With all of the tax cuts Bush has been giving, how does this help
our economy. I've read books that say that it just weakens our economy. With
the nation coming out of a a pretty bad time ,economicly speaking, I feel we
don't need to cut taxes. In the 90's with Clinton I didn't hear anyone
complaining about their taxes. My question I guess is this. With tax cut
after tax cut how does this help our nation? Thank you.
Thanks for your question Caleb. The President's tax relief put more money in consumers' and entrepreneurs' pocketbooks. Our goal was to create new jobs and fuel economic growth by increasing consumer demand and small business' resources. After the shocks of recession, terrorism , corporate scandal and war, the President's tax relief is working. Last quarter our economy grew at the fastest rate in nearly 20 years, the unemployment rate is dropping and consumer confidence is the highest point in more than three years.
Paula, from Muskegon, Michigan writes:
Mr Evans, when is someone in the national government going to wake up and
stop the exodus of jobs to countries like India? How is our country and the
American way of life going to survive if a person can't earn enough to raise a
I look forward to your response,
Thanks for your question Paula. From my many trips to Michigan, I know this is a concern that many of your neighbors are concerned about. The President's top priority is creating jobs in America and job security for all American workers. The President is proposing a six point plan which will make American workers and American businesses more competitive and provide the environment for job creation. The plan includes cutting indirect costs on businesses like health care costs, the cost of junk lawsuits, and the cost of energy. The plan also includes making the recently passed tax cuts permanent and remove the excessive regulatory and reporting burdens from American businesses.
Finally, we must continue to open up markets around the world for American companies and American workers while at the same time leveling the international playing field through strict and tough enforcement of our bilateral and multilateral trade agreements.
Richard, from West Lake
With the job market remaining unresponsive to economic news and returned
stability, how are the current economic initiatives going to stimulate
job growth when it hasn't yet made an impact?
Thanks to the President's tax relief, America economy is creating jobs. This morning the Labor Dept announced jobless claims are continuing to drop suggesting further job creation. Unemployment has dropped from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent and we've created over 250,000 jobs in the last five months.
Matthew, from Bethesda MD
I wrote in last week and asked Mr. Dan Bartlett who he thinks will win the
Super Bowl. He believes New England will win it, but he's pulling for
Carolina. I was hoping to hear your 2 cents on the big game. Are you thinking
New England, Carolina or are you more of a "commercials guy"?
Thanks for the question. I am from Houston and I'm sorry I won't be there to witness one of the great sporting events of the year. I am pleased that one of the big winners will be my hometown which is hosting the event. If Dan Bartlett says he believes that NE will win it, I believe just the opposite because I don't know if he's ever been right (about sports). He is never in doubt about sports, but seldom right.
juan, from austin, tx - the lone star state
i see you on tv all the time...you're great...you should think about
running for office one day.
you and the President have done a good job at turning the economy around, but
i think this is too good to be true...is this an economic bubble or a sign of
things to come?
Thanks Juan. Please say hello to my fellow Texans. The President has been working very hard at the economic security of America. The economy is strong and getting stronger . We are confident that this will be a lasting recovery but we are not complacent. WE cannot afford to rest on our laurels. To continue economic growth and job creation, Congress must make the President's tax relief permanent and they must also deliver an energy plan, tort reform and health care reform and expand free trade.
Ray, from Tampa, FL
What sectors of the economy will be experiencing the most new job creation
in the next few years? Also, what skills will be in greatest demand?
Ray, thanks for the question. One thing that clearly stands out in the economy over the past 200 years is that new industries and new jobs are created every generation. 20 years ago, few people foresaw the personal computer boom.l 10 years ago, only a handful of folks saw the opportunities created by the Internet. To make sure the workforce is prepared for the opps of tomorrow, the President recently proposed the 21st century jobs program to train Americans for tomorrows jobs.
80 percent of the fastest growing jobs in the US require higher education and many require math and science skills. The President's education intiatives including No Child Left Behind will also play a very important role in preparing the children of today for the economy of tomorrow.
Stanley, from Seattle writes:
You look like a weatherman. Is it true all the weathermen across the country
work for you? Why is it we do not call female weathermen "weatherwomen?"
Stanley, you know much more about the department of commerce than many people in America. In fact, the National Weather Service is a part of the Department of Commerce. It actually is a bureau with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and so it is fair to say that all weatherwomen and weathermen rely on the information coming from NOAA within the Department of Commerce.
Donald, from White Plains, NY
I am a small business owner. I have owned a delicatessen for 23 years. I
employ one other full time person and four part-time workers. For a very
small business like me, what is the Administration doing to help the
Thanks for the question, Donald. First and foremost we want you to be able to keep more of your hard-earned money so the President has led on three tax relief packages since entering into office in January 2001. We are going to continue to fight for you by proposing to Congress that the tax relief and tax cuts that you received over the last three years become permanent. We also want to minimize the excessive regulatory burdens on small business owners across America and streamline any federal reporting requirements that you may have.
Our number one objective is to create the conditions , the environment for it to be easier for you to compete and not harder to compete. We also are working very hard to reduce health care costs, the costs of junk lawsuits and to provide affordable energy.
I hope I;m in White plains sometime,k I look forward to dropping by and enjoying a slice of your New York Cheesecake. Please email this form again and let me know of your business and address.
I always enjoy dropping by and speaking to my friends across America. It is an honor to serve America and to serve all America. I'm looking forward to the next opportunity to be a part of Ask the White House.