"The agenda that I've got . . . has one thing in mind," the president said, "to make sure that people can find a job." Bush spoke against a television backdrop illustrated with the words "jobs" and "growth" in bold letters. And he outlined a six-point economic plan described in briefing materials as "a full agenda for the creation of jobs in America."
There were no new elements in the plan. There are measures currently before Congress to ease environmental restrictions on oil drilling, limit payouts in medical malpractice and class action suits, make temporary tax cuts permanent, and creation a sub-Cabinet position “Job Czar”. These are designed to please the corporate contributors to the Bush re-selection campaign and will do little to create jobs.
He credited his tax cut program with preventing a much deeper downturn. "Had we not taken action, this economy would have been in a deeper recession," Bush said. “Instead of hiring additional workers to meet rising demand, employers have been squeezing more productivity out of their existing staffs.”
“Economic growth will also cut the federal budget deficit in half”, Bush said. Although all sides agree that the Federal Reserve's policy of low interest rates probably did more to boost the economy than anything that came out of the White House.
Not counted in the unemployment rate were 1.7 million jobless people who were described as marginal or discouraged workers because they did not search for work in the past four weeks. The number of discouraged or marginal workers was 209,000 higher than August 2002.
U.S. Employers Shed 93,000 Jobs in August
The number of payroll jobs fell by another 93,000 last month, bringing the total job loss since January to almost 600,000, the Labor Department reported today.
Employers Slashed Jobs in August
U.S. employers cut jobs in August at the fastest pace since March.