President Bush not only sees himself as Commander-in-Chief, but also as Educator-in-Chief, to help citizens understand why he made some of the decisions that have affected their lives.
The president appeared with Ralph Schulz, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Chamber, and other business leaders. Before arriving at the speaking event, he visited the Nashville Bun Company.
President Bush said “If the small businesses are doing well in America, America is doing well.”
The president talked about the philosophical debate in Washington, about calibrating how much money the government needs and how much the people need.He thinks there is enough money in Washing ton for the government’s needs, but some in Washington say they need more money to expand the size and scope of government or balance the budget.
Bush said, “I think you can spend your money better than the federal government can spend your money.”
His view is that citizens can spend their money better than the government can, and if they have more of their money in their pocket to save, invest or spend, the economy is more likely to grow.
The administration confronted difficult economic times brought about by a recession, terrorist attacks, and corporate scandals. These all created uncertainty about the economy, and the government responded to those problems by cutting taxes.
And as you can see from this chart here, this is what the tax cuts have meant in 2007. But ever since they have been enacted, it has got the same type of effect. So if you’re a average taxpayer, you’re receiving $2,200 of tax relief. Some receive more, some receive less, but the average for all taxpayers is $2,216.
The president said he believes the average taxpayer should have their money in their own pocket. He said it enables people to decide their own priorities, they don’t want the government setting their priorities.
Referring to the Nashville Bun Company, he said, “If most new jobs are created by small businesses, it makes a lot of sense if you’re dealing with economic problems to cut the taxes on those who are creating new jobs.”
“The more money in the small business’s treasury, the more likely it is they’ll be able to expand. And when they expand, the more likely it is they’ll be hiring new people. We also put incentives in the tax code that said if you purchase equipment – you’re a small business owner and you purchase equipment, like the English muffin rolling system, we provide an incentive in the tax code to encourage you to purchase equipment. That not only helps your business become more productive and more competitive, the more productive and competitive you become, the more likely it is you’ll be able to sustain growth and, therefore, continue hiring.”
He said there is a big flow-on effect from cutting taxes on people and small businesses, because it helps other small businesses. He also said the economy is strong productivity is up, and people are working. 8.2 million new jobs were added since August 2003.
“People are working. And that’s what we want. We want people to say, I’m making a living for my family, and I’ve got more money in my pocket so I can make decisions for the best of my family. And I’m going to spend a little time, if you’ve got any questions, on how to keep it going strong.”
Speaking about the budget, he said the people who say you can’t balance the budget if you cut taxes. These are the people who want to raise taxes so they can balance the budget. The big problem is that most of the time they raise taxes , they figure out new ways to spend the money.
President Bush showed the audience a chart. His budget, based on no tax increases and being fiscally wise. The 2004 deficit of $413 billion changed as the economy started picking up, and with taxes low, tax revenues started to increase, and the deficit dropped to $318 billion, and then to $245 billion, and projected to be $205 billion in 2007.
His aim is to continue with fiscal sanity in Washington, D.C., to reach surplus by 2012, without penalizing the business sector, or families and individual taxpayers.
He also shows the difference between his budget and the democrat budget. They added billions of dollars in new spending. The two budgets illustrate the completely different approaches of how much money should be spent. The only way to deliver the democrat budget is to increase taxes. The president said he was worried that some in Washington want to expand the scope of federal government to make health care decisions on behalf of businesses and individuals.
He was asked a question about a performance royalty for television and radio play. The president referred the questioner to his office. The questioner said, “Mr. President, music is one of our largest exports the country has. Currently, every country in the world – except China, Iran, North Korea, Rwanda and the United States – pay a statutory royalty to the performing artists for radio and television air play. Would your administration consider changing our laws to align it with the rest of the world?”
Laughing, the president responded, “Maybe you’ve never had a President say this – I have, like, no earthly idea what you’re talking about. … Look, I’ll give you the old classic: contact my office, will you? … I’m totally out of my lane. I like listening to country music, if that helps.”