Good morning. As America continues to fight and win the war on terror, our
government is also focused on another national priority, growing our economy
and creating jobs.
America's economy has been through a lot. We experienced the shock of a
terrorist attack; we have endured a recession; we had to deal with some major
corporate scandals; we faced the uncertainty of war; and we have seen a slowdown
in the global economy, which weakens demand for American goods and services.
In spite of all of this, the American economy is growing, and growing faster
than most of the industrialized world.
There are great strengths in this economy. Lower interest rates have helped
more Americans buy their own homes. Gas and other energy prices are coming
down, and consumers are getting the savings immediately. Inflation is low,
and America's families are seeing their incomes on the rise. The entrepreneurial
spirit is healthy in America, as small businessmen and women put their
ideas and dreams into action every day. And America's greatest economic
strength is the pride, the skill, and the productivity of American workers.
Yet, we know that America's economy is not meeting its full potential. We
know our economy can grow faster and create new jobs at a faster rate. We
also know that the right policies in Washington can unleash the great strengths
of this economy, and create the conditions for growth and prosperity.
On Monday, members of Congress return from recess, and they will face some
important decisions on the future of our economy. I have proposed a series
of specific measures to create jobs by removing obstacles to economic growth.
My jobs and growth plan would reduce tax rates for everyone who pays income
tax, provide relief for families and small businesses, and help millions
of seniors in retirement by eliminating the double taxation of dividends.
With a robust package of at least $550 billion in across- the-board tax
relief, we will help create more than a million new jobs by the end of 2004.
Some members of Congress support tax relief, but say my proposal is too big.
Since they already agree that tax relief creates jobs, it doesn't make sense
to provide less tax relief and, therefore, create fewer jobs. I believe we
should enact more tax relief, so that we can create more jobs, and more Americans
can find work and provide for their families.
Americans understand the need for action. This week in Ohio, I met Mike
Kovach, whose business is in Youngstown, Ohio. Mike started and runs a growing
company, wants to hire new people, and would benefit from lower taxes. Mike
says, "Anytime you can improve the bottom line of mainstream business,
it's good for the city, it's good for the state, and it's great for the nation.
It all trickles up, instead of trickling down."
I urge Congress to listen to the common sense of people like Mike Kovach.
He and tens of millions of Americans like him need our help in building the
prosperity of our country. Tax relief is good for families, and good for
our entire economy. The jobs and growth plan I have proposed is fair; it
is responsible; it is urgent. And Congress should pass it in full.