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Senator McConnell's Column On America's Strong Economic Growth

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Senator McConnell's Column On America's Strong Economic Growth

from the Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

Everybody knows the saying "No news is good news." But when it comes to the mainstream media reporting on the American economy, the reverse is true. Good economic news for America translates into no news at all in the media.

That's a shame, because there's lots of good news to report. Our economy has been growing energetically with 2005 one of the best years yet—the country produced over two million new jobs in the last year. This November alone, Americans created 215,000 new jobs.

Kentucky is being swept along with the rising economic tide as well. Thanks to the stronger economy, the state's treasury will take in nearly $200 million more than expected over the next three years. Kentucky employment is on the rise too—in the past year, our Commonwealth has added 21,000 new jobs.

Thanks to all those new jobs, the country's unemployment rate has sunk to five percent. Of course, no one should be satisfied until every American who wants a job has one. But we should take pride in that five percent unemployment rate—or, as I like to look at it, a 95 percent employment rate. It's better than the average rate from the 1970s, the 1980s or the 1990s.

Our economy grew at a 4.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2005. For those of you who (like me) are not economists, I'll tell you what the economists told me—that is a nice, robust rate of economic growth. It's a great sign that America's hard workers are hard at work. We've been growing at that speed for the last two and a half years, a remarkable fact given the size of our economy.

Because of that powerful growth, America has the strongest economy in the world. We're growing twice as fast as most countries in Europe. And our unemployment rate is lower than nearly every country in Europe.

Gas prices, which spiked after Hurricane Katrina, are falling. Additional oil and gas production means home heating bills could be lower in the future as well. Our energy situation did not develop overnight and will take time to fix, but thanks to the energy bill Congress passed, America will reduce its dependence on foreign sources of energy.

Hurricane Katrina wreaked terrible destruction and took hundreds of lives. The images of the victims left in the storm's wake are heartbreaking. But we should all be proud that Katrina did not throw a fatal wrench into the American economy. Economic growth and falling unemployment continued, even in Katrina's aftermath.

That should be no surprise. Our nation's economic might rebounded after the dotcom bust at the beginning of this decade, after the corporate scandals of recent years, and even after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. All of these events proved to be like stones thrown in a river—creating short-term splashes and waves, but making no impact at all on the river's eventual destination.

This rock-solid economic strength comes from you, your friends and your family, all working hard to keep America the most successful country in the world. And the government has rewarded your hard work with the tax relief championed by President Bush and Republicans in Congress.

The past two and a half years of unbroken job growth began around the same time it became clear that Congress would pass and President Bush would sign tax cuts to boost growth. That tax relief is directly responsible for unleashing the full entrepreneurial might of the American economy.

The bottom line is that America's economy is strong and growing. It should continue to grow even stronger for our children and grandchildren. And while that may not be news to the mainstream media, it is very good news for the American people. So good, it ought to be front-page news.

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