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 Home > News & Policies > August 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 12, 2002

Fact Sheet: President to Host Economic Forum

President Bush believes that economic freedom is the foundation for individual success and prosperity. Because of the resiliency and determination of the American people, our Nation is on track for sustained economic growth. However, the President will not be satisfied until every American who wants a job can find a job, and all Americans have economic security. The President's economic agenda invests in people by creating jobs, expanding opportunities to save and invest, providing a good education, and helping each American own part of the American dream.

On August 13 the President will host the President's Economic Forum at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. The meeting will bring together government policy makers, small investors, small business owners, industry experts, teachers, workers, business ethicists, union members, corporate executives, economists, business students, academics, researchers and others to discuss the fundamentals of the economy and the President's agenda to increase economic growth for the future. The President's Economic Forum will feature breakout and discussion sessions on key economic issues. Each session will involve approximately 30 participants with diverse points of view, panels will be chaired by a senior government official, and each panel will include guest speakers with special expertise in the panel's subject matter.

The President's Economic Security Agenda

Our Nation is on track for sustained economic growth because of the resiliency and determination of the American people. However, the President won't be satisfied until every American who wants a job can find a job, and all Americans have economic security.

President Bush believes that economic freedom is the foundation for individual success and prosperity. The President's economic agenda invests in individuals by:

  • Creating jobs;
  • Expanding opportunities to save and invest;
  • Providing a good education; and
  • Helping each American own part of the American dream.

Creating Jobs

America has the most creative, productive, and resilient workforce in the world, and the President wants to make sure that everyone who wants a job can find a job. The President's agenda:

  • Increases trade to create better jobs and open vast new markets to American products and services;
  • Makes tax cuts permanent to spur the business investment that creates new jobs;
  • Removes the barriers to job creation for small businesses that hire the majority of new workers in America;
  • Reduces unnecessary government spending and regulation to return to budget surpluses and increase private investment;
  • Insists on corporate responsibility to bolster consumer and investor confidence and protect workers' jobs, pensions and retirement;
  • Puts in place terrorism insurance provisions that will allow major job-creating construction projects to go forward;
  • Implements a comprehensive national energy policy that will create thousands of new American jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil; and
  • Makes health care more affordable for all Americans.

Expanding Opportunities to Save and Invest

Saving is the path to independence for Americans in all phases of life, and the President wants to help create the conditions that encourage more Americans to take that path.

Permanent Tax Relief. The tax cuts are critical to our future economic growth and Washington should not take them away. Congress needs to make these cuts permanent. The tax cuts will create 800,000 more jobs this year and help Americans save and invest by:

  • Cutting taxes for all taxpayers in all tax rates;
  • Doubling the child tax credit to $1,000 to help parents with the high costs of raising children;
  • Expanding the earned income credit and making the child credit refundable to put money in the hands of millions of low-income families with children;
  • Helping Americans save more for their retirement by raising IRA and 401(k) contribution limits;
  • Helping families save for their children's education;
  • Repealing the death tax;
  • Providing relief from the marriage penalty; and
  • Accelerating depreciation so businesses can invest more and hire more.

Pension Protections & Retirement Security. The President signed into law tough new corporate accountability standards that tell workers that what's fair on the top floor should be fair on the shop floor. Under the new law, workers will now be given advance notice before any blackout period begins and company officers will not be allowed to sell their own company stock when workers cannot. The President has proposed additional reforms to help Americans get more timely investment information, have greater access to professional investment advice, and protect and grow their retirement savings by ensuring that front line workers have greater freedom to diversify their retirement portfolios. The President is also committed to ensuring that Social Security benefits are protected for all seniors, and allowing younger workers the option of investing in safe personal retirement accounts.

Confidence. A critical component of saving and investing is confidence. The President wants to return ethics, integrity, and accountability to corporate America so that investors can be confident they have the facts they need to make informed decisions. The President's agenda exposes acts of corporate corruption by increasing coordination with a new Corporate Fraud Task Force. The President's agenda moves corporate accounting out of the shadows by creating a new independent accounting oversight board to police the accounting profession. And the President's agenda protects small investors and pension holders by giving workers the same rights as corporate executives. This Administration will investigate, arrest and prosecute corporate executives who break the law.

Providing a Good Education

Education is the ticket to personal prosperity. Without a good education, the workers of tomorrow simply won't be able to compete in the modern global economy. And the workers of today need access to new skills and new opportunities through continuing education and training. The President's agenda:

  • Raises standards and requires results in the classroom;
  • Gives parents more control over their children's education;
  • Gives local schools more control while holding them more accountable; and
  • Invests in today's workers by providing education and training opportunities to learn new skills.

Owning Part of the American Dream

Increasing Homeownership. Owning your own home is the cornerstone of stability and long term financial security. But for many Americans, homeownership is out of reach. The President wants to tear down the barriers to homeownership for all Americans, and increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million by:

  • Providing downpayment assistance through the American Dream Downpayment Fund;
  • Increasing the supply of affordable homes through housing tax credits;
  • Tripling funds for organizations like Habitat for Humanity that help families get their first home; and
  • Simplifying the home buying process.

Innovation, Opportunity and Entrepreneurship. Small businesses are the heart of the American economy because they drive innovation and create new jobs. The strength of our Nation is built on the strength of our ideas. The President wants to reward this creativity and innovation and create thousands of new small businesses, including women and minority-owned small businesses, by:

  • Tearing down regulatory barriers that prevent the creation of new small businesses and jobs;
  • Making lower taxes permanent.
  • Making it easier for small business owners to provide health care for their workers;
  • Giving tax incentives to small businesses to help them expand, buy more equipment, and hire new workers.

Today's Economy

Despite the recent recession and the terrorist attacks:

  • Inflation and interest rates are low;
  • Auto and retail sales are strong;
  • New home sales are setting records;
  • Wages are rising faster than inflation;
  • Consumer spending remains strong; and
  • Industrial production is increasing.

One reason the recession was one of the shortest and shallowest in history was because the tax cuts were well timed. The tax cuts will create 800,000 new jobs this year and they pumped $40 billion back into the pockets of consumers just when they needed it most.

As the President continues to pursue his agenda to create jobs; open foreign markets to American goods; help Americans save, invest and keep more of their money; and foster a new ethic of corporate responsibility; our economy will continue to grow.