The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 17, 2006

President Participates in Roundtable on Taxes and the Economy
Europa Stone Distributors, Inc.
Sterling, Virginia

President's Remarks

      In Focus: Jobs & Economy

11:12 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: I want to thank Carlos and Owen and Adam for inviting us to their business. I also want to thank the other folks that we had a discussion with for coming over. We've got folks that have benefited from the tax relief, both as a small business owner and/or an employee -- except for Mike; he's a firefighter. And it's been a good discussion.

Here's what I come away with. One, the tax relief helped small businesses a lot. And since small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs of America, it is no wonder that our job base is expanding. When you help the small business owner with tax relief, you're helping to create employment. And that's what we're seeing across the country. We've added 5.1 million new jobs in the last two-and-a-half years. A lot of it has to do with the fact that our small business owners are confident, and they're investing and they're expanding the job base.

I talked to Shannon Bennett. She's a single mom with one young son who saved about $1,200 or $1,300 on her taxes this past year. And it's important for her family that she has got some additional money. Owen -- I mean, Mike has got three children. He's a firefighter. The tax relief helped. In other words, tax relief helped the small business owner; it's helped our families.

And what's interesting is the tax relief is set to expire. Actually, there's some Democrats in Congress who would like to raise taxes now. And if that happens, it will be a tax increase no one expects, no one wants. It will be like getting hit by one of these granite rocks.

And so I strongly urge the United States Congress to understand the positive effects of the tax relief and to keep the taxes low -- keep the taxes low on the working people, keep the taxes low on these small business owners, so that we continue -- so that we can continue to be an economy that leads the world.

And I want to thank you for your time, letting us come by. It's Tax Day. And it's a day to recommit ourselves to low taxes. It's a day that understands that when these people filing out their forms and writing checks to the government that it's the people's money that's coming to Washington, D.C. And we intend to let the people keep more of their own money, for the sake of the economy and for the sake of our families.

So thanks for letting us come by. Appreciate your hard work. I love the fact that you're living the American Dream.

END 11:15 A.M. EDT

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