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Job Numbers for Last Month

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Location: Washington, DC


Job Numbers for Last Month -- (House of Representatives - March 09, 2004)

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of January 20, 2004, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.

Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, last Friday, we got another reality check as to how, after 3 years in the White House, President Bush still has not figured out how to create jobs for Americans here in the United States. The February job numbers illustrate how the economic policies of President Bush and the Republican Congress still are not creating jobs.

Last month, only 21,000 jobs were created by the American economy. That is 21,000 jobs. The Labor Department also revised its numbers for both December and January, stating that 23,000 less jobs were created during those 2 months than when it was first reported; and this means employers have added an average of 61,000 jobs per month since August, well below the 150,000 new jobs economists said were needed to keep pace with population growth.

If the jobs recession does not end soon and the economy does not create 2.1 million jobs this year, then President Bush will be the first President since Herbert Hoover to preside over an economy in which he did not create one net job; and yet the President continues to say that the best way to create more jobs in the upcoming month is for Congress to make permanent all his tax cuts, the tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefit our Nation's wealthiest Americans.

I would just like to know, Mr. Speaker, when is the President going to learn? Congressional Republicans cut taxes year after year, and the jobs they predicted would be created have never become a reality. Last year, when the President was touting another round of tax cuts benefiting our Nation's wealthiest elite, the White House predicted the cuts would create more than 2.1 million new jobs in the 7 months after its passage. And what actually happened during that period? Only 296,000 jobs were created, 1.8 million short of the President's predictions.

Now President Bush says he is going to create jobs, but he is about as good at predicting job creation as he is in advancing policies that create those jobs. He is not very good at it, Mr. Speaker. Perhaps that is why President Bush and some of his leading economic advisers are now backing away from their own "Economic Report of the President," in which the administration predicted that 2.6 million jobs would be created this year. Just one week after release of that report, Treasury Secretary John W. Snow and Commerce Secretary Donald Evans refused to embrace President Bush's own economic projections.

One would think the Bush administration would be concerned about the job losses, but last month we learned that President Bush and his economic advisers view the movement of American factory jobs and white collar work to other countries as a positive transformation that will, in the end, enrich our economy.

The President's chief economist, Gregory Mankiw, made national headlines when he said, "Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade. More things are tradeable than were tradeable in the past, and that's a good thing." President Bush supported this view in his annual economic report in which he wrote: "When a good or service is produced more cheaply abroad, it makes more sense to import it than make or provide it domestically."

Mr. Speaker, how can we have economic success if we send jobs overseas, but do not create enough new jobs with comparable wages here in the United States?

I think it is about time that the Bush administration realizes that shipping jobs overseas and cutting taxes for the wealthiest elite in our country will not create jobs. President Bush and congressional Republicans have had 3 years to turn this jobs recession around. They have totally failed. It is time for Congress to pass measures that will encourage companies to keep jobs here in the United States, and it is time we level the playing field and protect American jobs here rather than exporting them overseas.

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