Today\’s Presidential Action:

As his first order of business upon returning to Washington, President Bush today met with his top economic advisors and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan to discuss the economy and ways to ensure the recovery happens sooner rather than later. The President also announced that he will include his economic security package in the 2003 budget.

Economic Growth Is Needed Now To Help Workers:

  • The Senate Should Pass An Economic Security Plan Immediately: Given the uncertain economic outlook, we need an economic security package to boost growth now and get people back to work. President Bush called on Congress to pass an economic security bill months ago. The House acted quickly but the Senate failed to act, despite support for a bipartisan compromise that a majority of Senators supported. In the meantime, more than 900,000 Americans have lost their jobs. And, without action by the Senate, more than 300,000 workers will not find work this year.
  • Economic Growth and Job Creation Boost Surpluses — Not Tax Increases: The federal government is not responsible for budget surpluses. America\’s workers are the engines of economic growth that create surpluses. A strong economy and more jobs – not tax increases -are the keys to improving the daily lives of working families and creating budget surpluses for years to come.

President Bush – Providing Critical Leadership On The Economy:

  • The President\’s Tax Relief Plan Will Help End the Recession Quicker: The President\’s tax cut was exactly the right medicine at the right time. It became law in May and workers began receiving checks in late August — pumping $40 billion back into the economy and supporting consumer spending at a critical time. Had it not been for the September 11th attack, many economists believe our economy would have already recovered.
  • While Some Blame Tax Cuts for Recession, the Facts Tell a Different Story: The recession began in March, two months before the tax cut even became law, and at least seven months before workers started receiving rebate checks. Despite Senator Daschle\’s claims, it is impossible that tax cuts made the recession worse.
  • Democrats and Republicans Came Together Because the Tax Cut Was Needed: Twelve Senate Democrats and 41 House Democrats voted for the tax cut bill. They knew that cutting taxes was the right thing to do for America\’s future economic prosperity.

The War and Recession Drained the Budget Surplus:

  • While some in Washington have attempted to blame the tax cut for the declining budget surplus, the facts tell a different story:
  • The Recession Erased Two-Thirds of the Surplus: The recession and declining tax revenues drained roughly two-thirds of the budget surplus between April 2000 and today.
  • Homeland Security and War Spending Used 19% of the Surplus: Immediately following the terrorist attacks, President Bush and Congress rightly passed significant spending increases for the war against terrorism, homeland security, airline security, and emergency response. This necessary spending accounted for approximately 19% of the surplus.
  • The Tax Cut Only Used 15% of the Surplus: Despite the claims of some in Washington, the tax cut used less than 15% of the surplus.

The events of September 11 weakened an already slowing economy:

  • Unemployment rose by almost 1% after September 11.
    The airport and airline industry was entirely shut down, costing thousands of jobs.
  • The tourism industry was especially hard-hit, costing even more jobs.
    Wall Street closed for a week, investment dried up, and the markets dropped.
  • Anthrax attacks shut down large portions of commercial mail and shipping industries.
  • Despite the terrorist attacks and the slowing economy, the budget remains effectively in balance: The miniscule shortfall in the budget represents less than 1% of GDP, meaning that the budget is effectively in balance.
  • While some in Washington use partisan politics as an excuse for inaction, President Bush will continue to work toward a real, effective economic security package for America\’s workers.