The White House
President’s Radio Address
In Focus: Economy
Good morning. This weekend, millions of Americans will celebrate
Labor Day. This holiday marks the traditional
end of the summer season. It is also an opportunity to
reflect on the contributions of hardworking Americans all
our country – from teachers, farmers, and health care professionals,
to firefighters, police officers, small business owners,
and workers on the assembly line.
workforce continues to be the marvel of the world. Yet many
working families have been weathering tough economic
times. There are families across our country struggling to
make ends meet. There is an understandable concern about the
high price of gas and food. And many Americans are worried
about the health of our housing and job markets.
share these concerns about our economy. Yet there have been
some recent signs that our economy is beginning to improve.
While the housing market is continuing to experience difficulty,
the decline in home sales has leveled off recently, and
sales are rising in some parts of the country. Orders for
durable goods, such as business equipment, are rising.
And earlier this week we received a report that America’s
grew in the second quarter at an annual rate of 3.3 percent
– surprising analysts who were predicting an economic recession.
These welcome signs indicate that the economic stimulus package
that I signed earlier this year is having its intended effect.
The growth package will return more than $150 billion back
to American families and businesses this year. Many Americans
who received tax rebates are spending them. Businesses are
taking advantage of tax incentives to purchase new equipment
this year. And there are signs that the stimulus package will
continue to have a beneficial impact on the economy in the
second half of the year.
Labor Day is also the traditional start of the election season.
In the coming months, it will be tempting for some in Congress
to try to score political points instead of getting work done
for the American people. Our citizens deserve better. We still
have time to accomplish important goals for our country. My
Administration remains hopeful that we can work with Democratic
leaders in Congress on bipartisan measures to help Americans
cope with this period of economic uncertainty.
We need to work together on a comprehensive approach to our
energy problems. I’ve called on Congress to permit us to tap
vast, unused sources of oil and gas, expand domestic refining
capacity, and encourage the development of alternative energy
sources. Congress continues to stand in the way of this comprehensive
approach. At a minimum, Democratic leaders in Congress should
move forward on common-sense energy proposals that have bipartisan
support – and it is not too late to do this. They should act
responsibly by lifting the ban on offshore drilling, expanding
access to oil shale, and implementing long-term tax credits
to spur the development of alternative sources of energy like
wind, solar, and nuclear power.
We need to work together to open up markets for American goods.
Exports account for a greater share of America’s gross domestic
product than at any time in our history. It is not too late
for Congress to approve free trade agreements with strong allies
like Colombia, Panama, and South Korea – so that we can create
more opportunities for American farmers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs.
We need to work together to keep your taxes low. At a time
of economic challenge, the last thing American families need
is a massive tax increase. It’s not too late for Congress to
make the tax relief we passed in 2001 and 2003 permanent.
Despite our economic difficulties, there is every reason to
be optimistic about America’s future. Our workforce is dynamic
and productive. Our economy is showing that it is resilient.
And our Nation is the most industrious, creative, and prosperous
Laura and I wish you a safe and joyous Labor Day weekend.
Thank you for listening.