For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 3, 2006
Fact Sheet: Growing Our Economy: Keeping Taxes Low and Restraining Spending
President Bush Discusses Strong and Growing U.S. Economy
In Focus: Jobs & Economy
Today, President Bush Discussed His Commitment To Keeping Taxes Low And Restraining Spending. The President believes money spent in Washington, D.C., is not the government's money - it is the American people's money, and our economy is better off when the American people keep more of it.
America's Economy Is Strong And Growing
America's Workers Are Driving Our Growing Economy. In the first quarter of the year, America's economy grew at an impressive rate of 4.8 percent. The American economy grew 3.5 percent last year - the fastest of any major industrialized nation. Productivity has been growing at the highest rate in decades, and that is leading to higher wages. Our Nation has added jobs for 31 months in a row - a total of 5.1 million new jobs for American workers. The national unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 percent - lower than the average for any decade since the 1950s. The job market for college graduates is the best it has been in five years.
America's Business Owners And Entrepreneurs Are Driving Our Growing Economy. Construction spending is at an all-time high. Business confidence and investment are strong, and small businesses that create most of our new jobs are flourishing. The number of Hispanic-owned businesses is growing at three times the national rate, and the number of African-American owned businesses is rising at four times the national rate.
America's Families Are Benefiting From Our Growing Economy. Real after-tax income has grown by almost 9 percent per person since the President took office. Homeownership recently reached record levels. Consumer confidence is at its highest point in nearly four years, and household wealth is at all-time high.
One Of The Most Important Explanations For America's Strong Economy Is Low Taxes
The President Worked With Congress To Reduce Income Taxes For Every American Who Pays Income Taxes - More Than 110 Million People. The Administration and Congress doubled the child tax credit, reduced the marriage penalty, cut taxes on capital gains and dividends, created incentives for small businesses to purchase new equipment and hire new workers, and put the death tax on the path to extinction.
To Keep Our Strong Economy Driving Forward, Congress Needs To Make Tax Relief Permanent. The President's tax relief is scheduled to expire in the next few years, meaning taxes would suddenly go back up. At a time of high gas prices and growing competition in the world, the last thing the American people need is a big tax hike.
Congress Has An Opportunity To Pass A Pro-Growth Measure That Would Keep Key Elements Of The Tax Relief In Place. The House and Senate are close to completing a bill that would extend the tax cuts on dividends and capital gains for two years - through 2010. The bill also would extend incentives for small businesses to purchase new equipment. The President calls on the House and Senate to resolve their differences and pass this pro-growth legislation, so that he can sign it into law.
As Congress Extends Tax Relief, It Also Needs To Restrain Spending
We Are Making Progress On Spending Restraint. Every year since the President took office, we have slowed the growth of discretionary spending that is not related to the military or homeland defense. The President's last two budgets have included actual cuts in this spending. We will meet our pledge to cut the deficit in half by 2009.
The Emergency Supplemental Funding Bill Will Test Congress' Commitment To Spending Restraint. The President has asked Congress to pass a bill providing emergency funds for the War on Terror and hurricane relief, but some are trying to load the bill up with unnecessary spending. This bill is for emergency spending - and it should be limited to emergency measures.
The President Will Continue Working With Congress To Restrain Spending In Other Ways, Starting With Reducing The Number Of "Earmarks" For Special Interest Projects And Passing A Line-Item Veto. Earmarks often award Federal funds to projects without a proper hearing or fair competition, and this means taxpayers are not getting the best value for their tax dollars. The Senate has passed sensible earmark reform, and it is time for the House to act. The President also urges Congress to pass a line-item veto allowing him to eliminate wasteful spending items without having to veto an entire spending bill. A line-item veto would allow us to cut needless spending, reduce the budget deficit, and ensure that every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely - or not at all. The measure has bipartisan support.
In The Long Run, The Biggest Challenge To Our Nation's Budgetary Health Is Entitlement Spending On Programs Such As Social Security And Medicare. As this week's Trustees Report shows, entitlement programs are growing much faster than our ability to pay for them. To keep these programs solvent, we need to slow their growth to a level we can afford.
President Bush Has A Broad, Pro-Growth Economic Agenda
Confronting Rising Gas Prices. The President has proposed steps to confront rising gas prices and to make America less dependent on foreign oil. The President's plan includes making sure consumers are treated fairly at the gas pump, promoting greater fuel efficiency, boosting our supplies of crude oil and gasoline, and investing in alternatives to oil, so we can dramatically reduce our demand for gasoline.
Making Health Care More Affordable And Available. The President has laid out a comprehensive plan to make health care more affordable and available - including the creation of Association Health Plans to help small businesses get the same insurance discounts that big companies get.
Cutting Needless Regulations And Stopping The Spread Of Junk Lawsuits. The President will continue to work with Congress to cut needless regulations and fight frivolous lawsuits - starting with asbestos and medical liability reform.
Opening Foreign Markets. The President will continue pressing to open foreign markets to American products - because so long as the playing field is level, American businesses and workers can compete with anyone in the world.
Ensuring America Remains The Economic Leader Of The World. The President has proposed an American Competitiveness Initiative to multiply our commitment to research and development, strengthen education in math, science, and engineering, and ensure that America remains the economic leader of the world.
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