U.S. President George Bush says his series of record tax cuts is helping American small businesses stimulate the economy. The president used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to ease regulations that he says are hurting profits.

Mr. Bush says he has an aggressive, pro-growth plan to help small businesses create more jobs by reducing what he says are unnecessary regulations. The president says his tax cuts will save 25 million small business owners an average of nearly $3,000 this year.

Along with the war in Iraq, the state of the U.S. economy is central to the president's bid for re-election as more than three million Americans have lost their jobs since he came to office.

"Over the past two years, Americans have been tested at home and abroad, but our confidence and optimism have never wavered," the president said. " We are defending the peace of the world. We are building the prosperity of our country. And we are turning loose the great energy and enterprise of one of the nation's great strengths, the drive and determination of our entrepreneurs."

Mr. Bush called on Congress to ease business regulations and limit lawsuits to build employer confidence. He wants permanent tax cuts and more free trade agreements to sell more U.S. goods overseas.