George W. Bush on Jobs

President of the United States, Former Republican Governor (TX)


2006: There are jobs that Americans won't do

"There are jobs that just simply aren't getting done because Americans won't do them." (Pres. Bush, Cleveland, Ohio, March 20, 2006)

Perhaps what the president meant to say is that illegal immigrants will do the work cheaper. Let's look at the next two sentences of the quotation:

"There are jobs that just simply aren't getting done because Americans won't do them. And yet, if you're making 50 cents an hour in Mexico, and you can make a lot more in America, and you've got mouths to feed, you're going to come and try to find the work. It's a big border, across which people are comwing to provide for their families."

If the president means that Mexico is so impoverished that even working wages there do not compare with below-market wages here, he is probably right. We have fought for minimum-wage laws and for union wages in this country, since the 1930s. Are we supposed to abandon all the laws now, just because Mexican illegal immigrants consider 50 cents an hour to be a good job?

Source: Minutemen, by Jim Gilchrist & Jerome Corsi, p. 75-78 , Jul 25, 2006

FactCheck: Yes, US gained 4.6M jobs, but also lost 2.6M jobs

The President noted that the US has gained 4.6 million jobs in the past two-and-a-half years. That’s true. However, most of that gain merely made up for the 2.6 million jobs that were lost>/u> during Bush’s first two-and-a-half years.

However, when the President said “the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world,” he was standing on firm ground. The US unemployment rate for December was 4.9 per cent. That’s significantly lower than most other industrialized democracies. Unemployment in Germany stands at 9.3 per cent, France at 9.2 per cent, Canada at 6.5 per cent. Only Japan’s rate of 4.6 per cent and the United Kingdom’s 4.8 per cent were better than the US, according to latest figures from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Source: FactCheck analysis of 2006 State of the Union speech , Feb 1, 2006

US has gained 4.6M jobs since 2003

Our economy is healthy and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations. In the last two-and-a-half years, America has created 4.6 million new jobs -- more than Japan and the European Union combined. Even in the face of higher energy prices and natural disasters, the American people have turned in an economic performance that is the envy of the world.
Source: 2006 State of the Union speech , Jan 31, 2006

George W. Bush on Farm Policy

Farm bill provides $40B over 10 years for conservation

The farm bill will provide over $40 billion over the next decade in funds for conservation programs that will restore millions of acres of wetlands, conserve water, and improve streams and rivers.
Source: 2004 Presidential website, georgewbush.com , Aug 30, 2003

Don’t use food as a diplomatic weapon; it hurts farmers

Q: The family farms are disappearing and having a hard time, even in the current positive economic environment. Your plan?

BUSH: I’d like our farmers feeding the world. We’re the best producers in the world. And I want the farmers feeding the world. We need to open up markets. Exports are down. And every time an export number goes down, it hurts the farmer. I want the next president to have fast track negotiating authority to open up markets around the world. We’re the best. We’re the most efficient farmers. I don’t want to use food as a diplomatic weapon from this point forward. It hurts the farmers. It’s not the right thing to do.

We need more work on value-added processing. I’m for research and development, so that we can use our technological base to figure out new uses for farm products.

I’m for completely getting rid of the death tax. One reason family farmers are forced to sell early is because of the death tax. It’s a tax that taxes people twice, it penalizes the family farmer.

Source: St. Louis debate , Oct 17, 2000

Keep Freedom to Farm Act: cut price supports

Q: The Freedom to Farm Act cut price supports to farmers while giving them more freedom to plant what they want. Do you support this law?

A: Yes. The best way to ensure a strong and growing agricultural sector is through a more market-driven approach that allows our farmers to fully participate in the world economy. As farming moves towards market-driven production, I believe the government should help farmers adapt to a global marketplace by providing a strong safety net and the means to manage the cyclical downturns in the farm economy. I will reinforce the important role farmers and ranchers play in the U.S. economy by increasing trade opportunities, reducing regulatory burdens, and reducing the overall tax burden. My administration will also renew our commitment to investments in new and innovative technologies for rural America.

Source: Associated Press on 2000 Presidential race , Sep 20, 2000

Farm policy: emergency relief; insurance; antitrust

Source: GeorgeWBush.com: ‘Issues: Policy Points Overview’ , Apr 2, 2000

Family farms: Food for Peace instead of food as a weapon

Q: Since the family farmer is self-employed, would you cap government agriculture benefits to a modest one-family level? A: I would look at the formulas to make sure that the money was distributed fairly. And I would have an agricultural department that would send the money out on a timely basis. I believe we ought to open up markets all around the world. We ought to reduce barriers and tariffs. We shouldn’t be using food as a diplomatic weapon. We ought to implement the food for peace program. We ought to eliminate the death tax as well so people can pass their farm from one generation to the next. And we ought to have good sound risk management policies that give farmers more options when it comes to crop insurance, and more options on how to manage their income. Agriculture is incredibly important for this country and one of the reasons why we’ve had trouble in the world is because administrations have traded off agriculture just as if it’s a secondary part of our economy. It’s not.
Source: GOP Debate in Johnston, Iowa , Jan 16, 2000

Ethanol tax incentives good for farmers and good for air

George W. Bush says that he “supports tax incentives for use of ethanol [because] not only is it good for the farmer, it is good for the quality of air all across America.”
Source: Sustainable Energy Coalition, media backgrounder #2 , Nov 18, 1999

George W. Bush on Labor

FactCheck: Yes, 52 months of job growth, but at lower wages

Bush put the best face he could on the weak job growth and stagnant wages plaguing the economy, which many economists fear is on the brink of the second recession to strike his administration. Bush said, “America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas.”

It’s true that the number of consecutive months in which the economy has added jobs is the longest on record, but the number of jobs gained is not. The pace of job creation was far stronger during the Clinton administration, when 22.7 million new jobs were added despite seven months that saw slight declines. Since Bush’s “record” run began in August 2003, the gain has been 8.3 million. It’s true that wages are up: Average weekly earnings for rank-and-file workers were $605.96 in Dec. 2007, compared with $578.67 a year earlier. But after adjustment for rising prices, the buying power of the average weekly paycheck actually declined.

Source: FactCheck.org on 2008 State of the Union address , Jan 28, 2008

FactCheck: Bush lost 1.6M PRIVATE jobs, gained some in gov’t

KERRY-EDWARDS CLAIM:“George Bush’s record speaks for itself. 1.6 million lost jobs. The first president in 72 years to actually lose jobs on his watch.”

CNN FACT CHECK:Kerry is correct that Bush is on track to have a net loss of jobs by the end of his first term, and possibly to become the first president since Herbert Hoover to leave office with a net loss in jobs. However the 1.6 million figure that Kerry refers to in his speech overstates the scope of the nation’s total job loss. This number refers to the total number of private sector jobs lost since January 2001, when Bush took office, through August 2004. The 1.6 million figure does not factor in a net increase in public sector jobs, which reduces the loss in overall jobs to 821,000. The Kerry campaign explains this distinction in a fact sheet to reporters, but on the stump, Kerry himself only says that 1.6 million jobs were lost, without clarifying that he is referring to only private sector jobs, and not all jobs overall.

Source: CNN FactCheck on 2004 statements by Bush and Kerry , Oct 29, 2004

Education is the best way to create jobs

Q: What do you say to someone who has lost his job to someone overseas who’s being paid a fraction of what that job paid here in the US?

A: I’ve got policies to continue to grow our economy and create jobs. Here’s some help for you to go get an education. Here’s some help for you to go to a community college. We’ve expanded trade adjustment assistance. We want to help pay for you to gain the skills necessary. The best way to keep jobs here in America is to make sure our education system works.

Source: Third Bush-Kerry Debate, in Tempe Arizona , Oct 13, 2004

To keep jobs in US, develop energy and keep taxes low

Q: How can the US be competitive in manufacturing and still pay the wages Americans have come to expect?

BUSH: Let me start with how to control the cost of health care: medical liability reform, for starters, which he’s opposed. Secondly, allow small businesses to pool together so they can share risk and buy insurance at the same discounts big businesses get to do. Thirdly, spread what’s called health savings accounts. It’s good for small businesses, good for owners. You own your own account. You can save tax-free. You get a catastrophic plan to help you on it. The best way to keep jobs here in America is, one, have an energy plan. I proposed one to the Congress two years ago, encourages conservation, encourages technology to explore for environmentally friendly ways for coal-to use coal and gas. It encourages the use of renewables like ethanol and biodiesel. Less regulations if we want jobs here; legal reform if we want jobs here; and we’ve got to keep taxes low.

Source: Second Bush-Kerry debate, St. Louis, MO , Oct 8, 2004

Will double the workforce for our job training program

Another priority in a new term will be to help workers take advantage of the expanding economy to find better, higher-paying jobs. In this time of change, many workers want to go back to school to learn different or higher-level skills. So we will double the number of people served by our principal job training program and increase funding for community colleges. I know that with the right skills, American workers can compete with anyone, anywhere in the world.
Source: 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech , Sep 2, 2004

Will change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time

In this time of change, government must take the side of working families. In a new term, we will change outdated labor laws to offer comp-time and flex-time. Our laws should never stand in the way of a more family-friendly workplace.
Source: 2004 Republican Convention Acceptance Speech , Sep 2, 2004

Dedicated to improving economy through job growth

Bush signed into law a bold jobs and growth plan to strengthen America’s economy and ensure its continued growth. In passing a jobs and growth plan, the administration has taken aggressive action to strengthen the foundation of our economy so that every American who wants to work will be able to find a job.
Source: 2004 Presidential website, georgewbush.com , Aug 29, 2003

Passed 13 week extension of unemployment benefits

Unemployed workers received an additional 13 week extension of their federal unemployment benefits, allowing them the support they need while looking to rejoin the workforce.
Source: 2004 Presidential website, georgewbush.com , Aug 29, 2003

Not satisfied until everyone who wants a job can find one

In 2003, Bush signed jobs and growth legislation and made clear that he will not stop working for economic security until everyone who wants a job has one. All of these measures are helping our economy as it recovers. President Bush will not be satisfied until every American who wants a job can find one; until every business has a chance to grow; and until we turn our economic recovery into lasting prosperity that reaches every corner of America.
Source: 2004 Presidential website, georgewbush.com , Aug 29, 2003

Flex-time & family-oriented work rules via tax code

The overtime proposal, sometimes called “flex-time” by the Clinton administration, has been criticized by some Democrats who fear employers would force employees to take time off instead of overtime pay. A Bush aide said the proposal would forbid such pressuring, but he did not elaborate on how the law would work. The House has passed legislation similar to Bush’s proposal twice, and Clinton has supported a narrower version. Unions are largely opposed to any measure.
Source: Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A26 , Oct 6, 2000

Tax breaks, child care & bus fare for working recipients

Source: 1998 National Political Awareness Test , Jul 2, 1998

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Barack Obama(D,2009-2017)
George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton(D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan(R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter(D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford(R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon(R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson(D,1963-1969)
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Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)

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Page last updated: Feb 22, 2022