The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 19, 2006

Fact Sheet: President Bush's Pro-Growth and Small Business Agenda

     Fact sheet en Español

Today In Sterling, Virginia, President Bush Discussed His Agenda To Maintain The Economy's Momentum And Grow Small Businesses. The President discussed the policies needed to keep the economy strong and growing in 2006. In the last two months, the economy has added more than 400,000 jobs - for a total of more than 4.6 million new jobs since May 2003. The 4.9 percent unemployment rate is lower than the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. The economy grew 4.1 percent at an annual rate in the third quarter of 2005 and has been growing above 3 percent in each of the past two years.

The President's Tax Cuts Have Strengthened The Economy And Created Jobs. Because the President believes that the American people can spend their hard-earned money better than the Federal government can, he called on Congress to reduce taxes - and Congress responded by lowering tax rates on individuals and families, reducing the marriage penalty, and cutting taxes on dividends and capital gains. The Administration put the death tax on the road to extinction and helped families by increasing the child credit. Real after-tax income per person has risen 7 percent since 2001.

The President Is Committed To Restraining Federal Spending. The Administration has reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending each year the President has been in office. For 2006, we cut non-security discretionary spending below the 2005 spending level and worked with Congress to reduce entitlement spending by $40 billion. Working with Congress to cut non-security discretionary spending, keep overall discretionary spending growth below the inflation rate, restrain entitlement spending, and end or reduce low-priority or poorly performing government programs, the Administration remains on track to cut the budget deficit in half by 2009. In the long term, the President is committed to addressing the challenges posed by entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.

The President's Small Business Agenda

To Help Small Businesses, The President Calls On Congress To Make The Tax Cuts Permanent. To maintain the economy's strength, Congress must make the tax cuts permanent. If Congress does not act, a family of four making $50,000 today would eventually see their Federal income taxes go up nearly 50 percent. Small business owners would also pay more taxes, which means less money to create new jobs and buy new equipment.

The President Is Working To Make Health Care More Affordable And Accessible. Congress needs to expand Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which are helping put patients in charge of their health care decisions. With HSAs, workers and employers can put money into tax-free accounts to be used for out-of-pocket medical expenses. Congress needs to pass Association Health Plans that would allow small businesses to join together and buy insurance at the same discounts that big companies receive. The President has proposed expanding the development of health information technology. Also, Congress needs to pass common-sense medical liability reforms that will allow doctors to focus on patients and control medical costs.

The Administration Is Addressing The Burden Of Junk Lawsuits. The Congress passed and the President signed class-action and bankruptcy reform, but more work remains to be done. Congress must also pass asbestos litigation reform that ensures victims are compensated fairly while curbing the overly burdensome cost of lawsuits on American businesses. To help small businesses, the President supports the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act, which would penalize frivolous lawsuits.

The President Will Continue To Work On Making America Less Dependent On Foreign Sources Of Energy. The President signed the energy bill to help America conserve more energy, make cleaner and better use of existing resources, and promote the development of renewable and alternative sources.

To Keep The Economy Growing, The United States Must Continue Opening Foreign Markets. To ensure economic growth and create new job opportunities for Americans, the Administration will continue to open up new markets for American products and services overseas. The Administration is also working to ensure a level playing field for American products. The President strongly believes that so long as there is a level playing field, the American worker, entrepreneur, and farmer can compete with anybody, any time, any place.

Training Workers To Fill The Jobs Of The 21st Century

To Help Americans Take Advantage Of New Opportunities, The Administration Is Strengthening The Nation's Education System And Job Training Programs. The President proposed and the Congress passed the No Child Left Behind Act to ensure America's schoolchildren improve their performance and acquire needed skills. The President has proposed initiatives to improve American high schools and make it easier for more Americans to receive a college education. The Federal government will also help workers get job training through community and technical colleges.

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