Presidential Radio Address - 3 July 2004
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. As Americans gather this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July, we can take pride in our country's great history, and look to the future with confidence. America remains a shining example to the world of all that free people can achieve. And our goal as a nation is to make sure that all Americans can share in the promise of our country.
Our economy is showing steady progress. We've completed our 10th consecutive month of job creation. We added 112,000 jobs in June, and have added more than 1.5 million new jobs since last August. The unemployment rate has steadily declined, to 5.6 percent from 6.3 percent a year ago. With more jobs, and lower unemployment, we are seeing rising consumer confidence, higher incomes, continued gains in the rate of home ownership, and a restored sense of opportunity.
Our strengthening economy is a tribute to millions of American entrepreneurs and workers. By their hard work and optimism, our nation has overcome recession, terrorist attack, corporate scandals, and the many economic challenges that come in a time of war.
Our government is also doing its part. With pro-growth policies in Washington, we aim to encourage the hard work and optimism of our people. With tax relief, we are strengthening the spirit of enterprise. When people are allowed to keep more of what they earn, that is good for families trying to make ends meet, good for businesses looking for new customers, and good for those looking for jobs in our expanding economy.
Now that jobs are coming back, we must build on this progress, and help American workers and families continue to meet the challenges of our changing economy. My plan will help America continue to lead the world, help our workers gain the skills they need, and create an environment where small businesses will thrive and create new jobs.
Our first responsibility is not to raise taxes on hard-working Americans. All of the tax relief we have passed should be made permanent, so families can continue to keep more of what they earn, and businesses can plan for the future with confidence. I have a plan to help businesses and families with the rising costs of health care, and reduce the burden of frivolous lawsuits that unnecessarily punish the job creators in America. I'm working to open more markets and level the playing field for American entrepreneurs, and farmers, and ranchers.
Our global economy requires Americans to remain prepared for change and innovation. That is why I have proposed to help our public schools and community colleges teach our future workers the skills they need to succeed. For the sake of economic security and job creation, I proposed a national energy policy that encourages conservation and production at home, and makes us less dependant on foreign sources of energy. All of these proposals are aimed at helping Americans prepare to meet new economic challenges, and I will continue to push the Congress to see them enacted into law.
This Fourth of July weekend, as Americans celebrate our freedom, our thoughts are also with the men and women who defend that freedom as members of the United States military. In Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere, they are fighting terrorists that threaten America, and helping to build hopeful, democratic societies where the ideology of terrorism has no place. Our nation honors their sacrifice. And one of our greatest sources of pride on this Fourth of July is that men and women like them wear the uniform of our country.
I thank all of our servicemen and women for standing post. I wish all Americans a happy Independence Day.
Thank you for listening.