President Bush spent his radio address this week first touting improved job growth numbers, then slamming the Democrats proposed 2008 budget. President Bush started off by talking about the growth in the number of new jobs created, “This week, we received more good news showing that our economy is strong and growing. The Department of Labor reports that our economy has now created jobs for 46 consecutive months. America added 132,000 jobs in June, and that means our economy has added more than 8.2 million new jobs since August of 2003. Unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high, incomes are rising, and opportunity is growing across America.”(Notice how he doesn’t mention rising prices, concerns about inflation, or the decline in real wages. Of course, job creation is going to go up.  It is summer construction season in much of the nation).

He then took all the credit for this economic rebound, “Our Nation’s strong economy is no accident. It is the result of the hard work of the American people and pro-growth policies in Washington. Starting in 2001, my Administration delivered the largest tax relief since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Our tax relief has left $1.1 trillion in the hands of citizens like you to save, and spend, and invest as you see fit. Over the past three years, we have also held the growth of annual domestic spending close to one percent — well below the rate of inflation. The result is a thriving and resilient economy that is the envy of the world.”

The president then turned his attention to the Democrats’ 2008 budget. “Democratic leaders in Congress want to take our country down a different track. They are working to bring back the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past. The Democrats’ budget plan proposes $205 billion in additional domestic spending over the next five years and includes the largest tax increase in history. No nation has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. And I have made it clear that I will veto any attempt to take America down this road.” (Remember, Bush defines a tax increase as repealing any of his tax cuts. The Democratic budget does not raise taxes. It is amazing that the president has the nerve to complain about $205 billion in domestic spent, when the nation will spend at least $170 billion in Iraq this year alone).

He also accused Democrats of being too slow in passing the budget. “Democrats in Congress are also behind schedule passing the individual spending bills needed to keep the Federal government running. At their current pace, I will not see a single one of the 12 must-pass bills before Congress leaves Washington for the month-long August recess. The fiscal year ends September 30th. By failing to do the work necessary to pass these important bills by the end of the fiscal year, Democrats are failing in their responsibility to make tough decisions and spend the people’s money wisely. (Every modern Congress has cut it close to the end of the year deadline. Republicans were no better than Democrats in this aspect and the president knows this).

The president then said that if the budget isn’t passed in time, it will be the Democrats fault. “This moment is a test. Under our Constitution, Congress holds the power of the purse. Democratic leaders are in control of Congress. They set the schedule for when bills are considered. They determine when votes are held. Democrats have a chance to prove they are for open and transparent government by working to complete each spending bill independently and on time. I urge Democrats in Congress to step forward now and pass these bills one at a time. As they do, I will insist they restrain spending so we can keep our government running — while sustaining our growing economy and getting our budget into balance.”

The president concluded by talking about his hope for the future. “And to help achieve these goals, I call on the Senate to act on my nomination of Jim Nussle as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Jim is a former Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and he will be a strong advocate for protecting your tax dollars here in Washington. By setting clear budget priorities and maintaining strong fiscal discipline, we can promote economic growth and bring our budget into balance. Our Nation has the most innovative, industrious, and talented people on the face of the Earth. And when we unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our country, there is no limit to what the American people can achieve, or the hope and opportunity we can pass on to future generations.”

Even though the Congressional Budget Office has projected that the annual deficit would fall from $412 billion last year to $314 billion this year, the same report states that if the Bush tax cuts are renewed after 2010 they will add an addition $205 billion to the deficit in 2011. By 2015, the Bush tax cuts would cost an extra $432 billion, once again showing that his tax cuts can’t erase the deficit. What the president wants everyone to forget is that when he took office there was a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion for the decade. Now, debt is projected for the next decade.

For me, it is impossible to buy this spend happy president as a fiscal conservative. The U.S. financial picture is really much worse than the White House lets on. Almost all of the spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is done by appropriations which are not included in the budget. On the issues of the economy and the budget, the Democrats win hands down. The president has no credibility on these issues, and little public support. It is foolish for him to try to sell himself as budget balancer. He isn’t, and never will be.

Article on the deficit

Full text of President Bush’s weekly radio address 

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics 

Jason can also be heard every Sunday at 7:00 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse

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