For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 8, 2005
Fact Sheet: Ensuring America's Prosperity
Today's Presidential Action
Today, in a speech at the Detroit Economic Club, President Bush
discussed his strategy for ensuring America's prosperity by
restraining spending, promoting pro-growth policies, and
strengthening institutions like Social Security for future
The President has put forth an ambitious agenda to ensure that
America's economy remains the most prosperous in the world. To
accomplish this, he has proposed a three-pillar strategy, which
includes: restraining spending by the Federal Government; working
with Congress to pass legislation that promotes economic growth -
including making his tax cuts permanent; and reforming the
institutions fundamental to American society, so that they can
meet the realities of our new century. While he recognizes these
are big goals, President Bush believes we have an obligation to
do what Americans have always done - build a better tomorrow for
our children and grandchildren.
Background on Today's Presidential Action
The President believes that taxpayers' dollars should be spent
wisely, or not at all. Yesterday, he sent to Congress a
disciplined budget that keeps us on track to cut the deficit in
half by 2009, while meeting the essential needs of our Nation -
to defend and protect the American people. The President's FY
Provides our military and homeland security personnel with the tools they need to do their jobs;
Funds critical upgrades in homeland security, including a
new program to secure chemical plants, ports, and public transportation
Raises defense spending by almost 5 percent.
While it also:
Reduces spending on non-security discretionary programs by nearly 1 percent - the most disciplined proposal since Ronald Reagan was in office;
Holds total discretionary spending below the rate of inflation;
Eliminates, or substantially reduces, more than 150 Federal programs that are not succeeding, are duplicating existing efforts, or are not fulfilling an essential priority; and
Includes vital reforms in mandatory spending that will save taxpayers $137 billion dollars over the next decade.
President Bush is committed to building an environment that encourages innovation, lowers the cost of doing business, and promotes economic growth. His pro-growth agenda is creating jobs
and continuing to strengthen the economy. But to sustain the
growth that will help job-creators bring new hope to all corners
of America, we must continue to make our economy more flexible
and competitive - and ensure that America remains the best place
in the world to do business. The President's six-point plan:
Allows families to plan for the future by making tax relief
Encourages investment and expansion by restraining
Federal spending and reducing regulation.
Makes our country less dependent on foreign sources of energy through a comprehensive national energy policy.
Expands trade and levels the playing field to sell American goods and services across the globe.
Protects small business owners and workers from frivolous lawsuits that threaten jobs across America.
Lowers the cost of health care for small businesses and working families through Association Health Plans, tax-free Health Savings Accounts, tax credits for employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts, Medical Liability Reform, and health information technology.
To ensure prosperity for future generations, we must reform
institutions - retirement plans, the tax code, our health care
system, and worker training programs - that were created for the
world of yesterday, not tomorrow. We must transform these
systems so all Americans are equipped to confront the great
challenges that will determine the quality of life for our
children and grandchildren. To accomplish this, the President is
Strengthening High Schools: The No Child Left Behind
Act is bringing important reforms to America's elementary schools by
insisting on standards and accountability for results. Now the
President has proposed to apply these high standards to America's high
schools to ensure every student graduates with the skills needed to
succeed in college and a globally competitive workforce.
Preparing Americans for Jobs of the 21st Century: America's growing and transitioning economy requires new skills and new
technologies, and the President is committed to providing American
workers with the skills they need to succeed. President Bush believes
we must ensure every adult, and especially low- and middle-income
Americans, can access the training to close the skills gap in America,
and he will work with Congress to reform workforce training, and
increase the number of people served.
Reforming Immigration to Safeguard the Liberty of
America: President Bush called on Congress to work with him to achieve significant immigration reform that protects the homeland by
controlling the borders; serves America's economy by matching a willing
worker with a willing employer when no American is willing to fill the
job; promotes compassion and protects workers from abuse; provides
incentives for temporary workers to return to their home countries and
families; and protects the rights of legal immigrants while not
unfairly rewarding those who came here unlawfully or hope to do so.
Reforming the Tax Code: President Bush believes that
America's taxpayers deserve, and our future economic prosperity
demands, a simpler, fairer, more pro-growth system. Taxes should be
applied fairly, and reform should recognize the importance of
homeownership and charity in our American society. As a first step in
reforming the code, the President has created a bipartisan panel to
advise the Secretary of the Treasury on options to reform the tax
Fixing the Current Social Security System: The President
wants to strengthen Social Security for the 21st century. His
fiscally-responsible plan calls for reforms that would keep Social
Security's promises for today's seniors and those near retirement,
solve the financial problems of Social Security once and for all, and
give younger workers a chance to save in personal accounts for their
By 2018, Social Security will owe more in annual benefits than
the revenues it takes in, and when today's young workers begin to
retire in 2042, the system will be exhausted and bankrupt. As
currently structured, Social Security cannot afford to pay
promised benefits to young workers.
The President has laid out his vision for voluntary personal retirement accounts. Under his plan, yearly contribution limits would be raised over time, eventually permitting all workers to set aside 4 percentage points of their payroll taxes in their accounts.
There will be careful guidelines for personal accounts to provide greater security in retirement including a conservative mix of bonds and stock funds; protection from hidden fees; protection from sudden market swings on the eve of retirement; and a requirement of
pay-outs over time to prevent a person from emptying their
accounts all at once.
The President's second-term agenda will help move our nation
toward a larger goal - an ownership society. For generations,
the chance to run your own business or own your own home has been
at the heart of the American Dream. In an ownership society, we
will continue to expand that dream by rewarding enterprise,
promoting home ownership, and giving all Americans greater
control over their own health care, education, and retirement.
By renewing these commitments, we will fulfill our obligation to
leave a better America than the one we found, and we will ensure
prosperity for generations to come.