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 Home > News & Policies > February 2005

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 generations.
  • 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 2006 budget:
    • 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 systems; and
    • 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 permanent.
    • 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 committed to:
    • 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 code.
    • 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 own retirement.
      • 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.

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