President Bush says record tax cuts are helping to revive a struggling U.S. economy, but Democrats say the president's tax cuts are creating huge federal deficits.
President Bush says American workers celebrating this Labor Day weekend are taking home more of their paychecks thanks to a series of tax cuts he has pushed to stimulate the economy.
Millions of families have now received checks for up to $400 per child as part of those cuts. Mr. Bush says the $13 billion pay-out is helping many people save, invest, or spend that money on back-to-school expenses. "As consumer spending rises, manufacturers are seeing more new orders for their goods," said President Bush. "Low interest rates mean businesses have better balance sheets, and families have saved billions of dollars by refinancing their homes. These are the signs of a reviving economy."
Labor Day is the traditional start of the presidential campaign, and the economy will be central to Mr. Bush's bid for re-election. He will visit the states of Ohio, Missouri and Indiana in the coming week to talk about the economy and what he says are the stimulative effects of his tax cuts.
Democratic challengers say the president's cuts are reducing services at the state level as governors have less federal assistance to supplement their own declining tax revenues.
In the Democratic response to the president's weekly radio address, Ohio Congressman Sherrod Brown said the cuts are creating huge federal deficits. "President Bush turned the $5.6 trillion surplus he inherited from his Democratic predecessor into an estimated debt of $3.3 trillion, a terrible burden that we will now have to pass on to our children," he said.
Since the start of the Bush administration, the U.S. economy has lost more than three million jobs, including 2.5 million in manufacturing. That is about 10 percent of that workforce in industries including steel, textile, and automobile manufacturing, as U.S. unemployment now tops six percent.
In Ohio alone, Congressman Brown said, the state has lost 200,000 private sectors jobs during the Bush administration. "And what is President Bush's response to this unprecedented job loss?" he asked. "More tax cuts for the most privileged people in our society."
Under the Bush plan, Congressman Brown said, the average millionaire gets a tax cut of more than $93,000, while most taxpayers get less than $100.
President Bush says the tax cuts are helping all Americans, and wealthier people get more money back because they pay higher taxes in the first place.
On the job front, Mr. Bush says Congress can help lower unemployment by passing a comprehensive energy plan, enacting legal reforms to curb frivolous lawsuits, and entering into new free trade agreements with other nations.