For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 5, 2005
Fact Sheet: President Bush's Agenda for Economic Growth
Today's Presidential Action:
Today, President Bush Visited The John Deere-Hitachi Plant In Kernersville, North Carolina, And Discussed His Agenda For A Strong And Vibrant Economy. The President outlined his pro-growth agenda to build an economy that encourages entrepreneurship and rewards workers' efforts, giving them control over key decisions and helping deliver prosperity to every corner of the Nation.
In Difficult Times, The President Acted To Maintain Economic Growth. In the past five years, the economy has endured a stock market decline, recession, terrorist attacks, corporate scandals, high energy costs, and devastating natural disasters. These shocks required decisive action. The President believes the economy grows when people are allowed to keep more of their own money. So, he called on Congress to cut taxes, and Congress responded. We cut taxes for families, investors, and small businesses. The death tax has been put on the road to extinction, helping farmers and entrepreneurs pass on the results of a lifetime's hard work.
The Economy Is Vibrant And Strong, And America's Best Days Are Still Ahead. Throughout the last century, there have often been pessimists saying America's best days are behind it, and the future belongs to others. Yet throughout history, the American people have always proved the pessimists wrong. Some even say we should repeal the tax relief sooner. The Administration will continue to promote the pro-growth policies that give people the freedom to pursue their dreams and build a better tomorrow for future generations.
The President's Agenda For A Strong And Vibrant Economy
To Maintain Economic Growth, The President Is Committed To Keeping Taxes Low And Restraining Spending. The President's tax relief, which is helping to grow the economy, will expire in a few years unless Congress acts. If tax relief is allowed to expire, a family of four making $60,000 today will see its Federal income taxes eventually go up by more than 50 percent. To maintain growth, there has to be certainty in the tax code, workers need to keep more of their paycheck, and Congress needs to make the tax cuts permanent. The President is also working to restrain government spending. The President has set a goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009 and has submitted the most disciplined budget proposal since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. The President's plan would also terminate or reduce more than 150 government programs, and Congress is poised to deliver savings on more than 90 of these cuts. For the first time since 1997, Congress is poised to deliver more than $35 billion in savings in entitlement programs. The President's approach is clear: working families should set priorities for their spending and so must the Federal government.
To Maintain A Vibrant Economy, The United States Must Become Less Dependent On Foreign Sources Of Energy. High gasoline and heating costs are a tax on the American people. Today, gasoline prices have fallen to about what they were before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Administration will continue to work on making America less dependent on foreign oil. 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 expand supply and help keep the economy strong, the President also calls on Congress to pass legislation that would allow us to build and expand more refineries.
The Administration Is Working To Prepare Americans For Future Opportunities. America prospers when its workers can look to the future with confidence, and people are more confident when they own. That is why the President is promoting an ownership society where more people own their own businesses and homes and have more control over their lives. So that Americans know their hard work will be rewarded and the institutions they depend on are reliable, the President is promoting reforms to key areas like job training, health care, and retirement.
The President Is Advancing A Comprehensive Health Care Agenda. The President has called on Congress to pass association health plans so small businesses can purchase insurance at the same discounts as big companies. The Administration modernized the Medicare system to give seniors more choice and help them with prescription drugs. To strengthen the safety net and help those in need, the President has proposed reforms to Medicaid, and more than 800 community health centers have been opened or expanded. The President has proposed to expand the development of health information technology. Because too many doctors are being sued out of business, Congress needs to pass national medical liability reform.
The President Proposes To Reform Pension Rules. Current pension rules are confusing and misleading. Companies can technically play by the rules and still not fund their pension promises. These rules must be strengthened to require companies to accurately measure and report the financial status of their pension plans and to fully fund the promises they make. The President's plan would give companies that underfund pensions seven years to catch up. Some want to weaken the current law, but the President believes that pensions should be there for workers who have put in a lifetime of hard work. The President will not sign a bill that weakens pension funding for America's workers.
To Keep The Economy Growing, The United States Must Continue Opening Foreign Markets. Ninety-five percent of America's potential customers live abroad. By opening up new markets for American goods, crops, and services, the government is helping the economy continue to create jobs and opportunity at home.
The Administration Is Working To Advance Free And Fair Trade. When China entered the World Trade Organization (WTO), one of the conditions was that the United States and other WTO members could take steps to prevent their markets from being flooded with cheap Chinese textiles. Last month, the Administration reached an agreement with China to limit its increase in textile exports to America over the next few years giving American companies time to adjust. The Doha trade round has the potential to boost American jobs by reducing and eliminating tariffs and other barriers on farm and industrial goods; by ending unfair subsidies; and by opening the global market to American services. The United States will push for a bold, wide-ranging agreement. The President will continue to use American influence to bring American workers even greater opportunities.