George W. Bush photo

The President's Radio Address

April 15, 2006

Good morning. Monday is tax day, and that means many of you are busy finishing up your tax returns. The good news is that this year, Americans will once again keep more of their hard-earned dollars because of the tax cuts we passed in 2001 and 2003.

An important debate is taking place in Washington over whether to keep these tax cuts in place or to raise your taxes. For the sake of American workers and their families, and for our entrepreneurs, I believe Congress needs to make the tax relief permanent.

Our economy prospers when Americans like you make the decisions on how to spend, save, and invest your money. So the tax relief we passed cut taxes for everyone who pays income taxes. We cut taxes on families by lowering rates and by doubling the child credit. We also reduced the marriage penalty, because our Tax Code should encourage marriage, not penalize it. We cut taxes on small businesses, allowing them to expand and hire more workers. And we worked with Congress to phase out the death tax, because Government should not tax farmers or small-business owners twice—once when you make your money and the second time when you try to pass the fruits of your life's work on to your loved ones.

So far, the tax relief I signed has left $880 billion with America's workers and small-business owners and families, and you have used that money to fuel an economic resurgence. Our economy has added jobs for 31 months in a row, creating more than 5.1 million new jobs for American workers. And the unemployment rate is now down to 4.7 percent, below the average rate for each of the past four decades. Real after-tax income per person has grown by more than 8 percent since I took office. And that means, on average, Americans have an income that is $2,100 higher this year than it was at the beginning of 2001, after adjusting for inflation.

Not everyone agrees that we should let you keep more of your money. Some in Washington said that by cutting taxes, we were ruining our economy. On the day that the House and Senate were finalizing the 2003 tax cuts, one Democratic leader said these cuts would do nothing to create jobs. Since then, the facts have proven that critic wrong—5.1 million times over.

Tax relief has done exactly what it was designed to do: It has created jobs and growth for the American people. Yet some here in Washington are now proposing that we raise taxes, either by repealing the tax cuts or letting them expire. These are the same politicians who told us that letting you keep more of your own money would be irresponsible and reckless and shameful. They were wrong then, and they are wrong now. To keep our economy creating jobs and opportunity, Congress needs to make the tax relief permanent.

There's more to do to maintain America's economic strength. We're working to address rising energy prices and health care costs, which puts pressure on family budgets and the bottom lines of our small businesses. I have proposed practical reforms that would make health care more available and affordable, and I put forward an energy initiative that would make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. I urge Congress to act on these important priorities, so we can keep America the economic leader of the world and allow more families and small businesses to realize the American Dream.

America's economy is strong and benefiting all Americans. By keeping taxes low and adopting sound policies that help our workers to compete and our businesses to grow and expand, we will keep the economy moving forward and extend prosperity and hope in our country.

Thank you for listening.

NOTE: The address was recorded at 7:36 a.m. on April 13 in the Cabinet Room at the White House for broadcast at 10:06 a.m. on April 15. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on April 14 but was embargoed for release until the broadcast. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this address.

George W. Bush, The President's Radio Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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