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Bush Says US Economy Strong

President Bush says the U.S. economy is strong and is growing faster than the economy of any other industrialized nation.

President Bush said Friday that the United States added 211,000 new jobs in March, the 31st straight month of job growth, totaling more than five million new jobs. "These millions of new jobs are evidence of an economic resurgence that is strong, broad and benefiting all Americans," he said.

The president cited figures from a Labor Department report that shows unemployment fell to a five-year low of 4.7 percent in March.

President Bush, who is fighting low approval ratings, said consumer confidence is at its highest point in nearly four years, inflation is contained, productivity is high and small businesses are thriving.

"These gains are the result of the energy and the effort of American workers, small business owners and entrepreneurs. They are also the result of pro-growth economic policies," he said.

The president said his administration's tax cuts have put more money in the pockets of Americans who are in turn boosting the economy by spending that money. He said Democratic Party leaders were wrong when they charged his tax cuts would do nothing to create jobs, and he urged Congress to make the cuts permanent. He said tax relief has done exactly what it was intended to do: create millions of jobs and growth for the American people.

"The facts have proven the critics wrong 5.1 million times over," he said.

The president also urged Congress to restrain spending in order to cut the deficit in half by 2009, and he threatened to use his veto power if they did not.