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White House Concerned Over Increase in US Unemployed - 2001-09-08

The Bush Administration says it is concerned by the latest bad news about the U.S. economy, but maintains that its economic recovery program will eventually show results. More than 100,000 Americans lost their jobs last month. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says President Bush is concerned about the increasing number of Americans out of work but remains confident that his trillion-dollar tax cut will help spark a turnaround in the economy.

"The plan was agreed to by Congressional Republicans and Democrats, an overwhelming bipartisan vote particularly in the United States Senate, and the President believes very much that the stimulative effect of the tax cut in combination with a series of interest rates cuts undertaken by the Federal Reserve will give the economy the boost it needs so that Americans can have the jobs they need," he said.

Mr. Fleischer says the President has no intention of scaling back his requests for more Defense spending or submit a new budget to Congress as Democratic leaders are suggesting. Mr. Fleischer says there is plenty of money to cover government spending, despite a more than 40 percent drop in the federal budget surplus since April.

That drop is partly because of lower tax receipts from a weaker economy and part because of the tax refunds sent to American consumers. Mr. Fleischer says the President stands by his decision to return that money to taxpayers to stimulate the economy and prevent Congress from spending the money irresponsibly.

Mr. Bush is warning Congressional Democrats against trying to rollback parts of that tax cut and says they must keep spending increases under the six percent growth figure allowed in his budget.