We were invited to be part of a Conference Call yesterday with GOP Conference Chair Deborah Pryce (R-OH) and Treasury Secretary Snow to talk about the unemployment numbers that came out yesterday. True enough it was the 33d straight month of job gains overall and we’re happy about that, but manufacturing lost 14,000 jobs last month after a few months of small gains for us. We continue to be bedeviled by high energy costs while Congress fiddles. Secretary Snow said that Energy Secretary Bodman is confident that energy prices will start to drop in the fall. That’s fine, but we need to start tapping our own supplies of energy, both oil and gas.
Secretary Snow, as you know, is leaving the Cabinet. We thanked him for his leadership on economic policy and on China, but said we wished they had gone a bit further on China vis a vis their currency and gotten the job done.
In any event, the salient points of the call were as follows:
Rep. Pryce: 33d straight month of job gains. GDP revised upward to a very robust 5.3%. Unemployment remains low, currently lower than the average of 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Economic polices that have taken shape under Secy Snow’s leadership are having positive results. Snow has helped create this robust economy. We will miss him.
Secy Snow: It all goes to the tax bill that passed in spring of 2003. If was like flipping a light switch on the economy.
Hispanic employment is at a record low. For African-Americans, unemployment is approaching historic lows. We can have growth and cut taxes. That’s the legacy of the jobs and growth bill.
Rep. David Dreier (CA): 70% increase in flow of federal revenues came from the cut in capital gains tax. Glad that’s been extended for 2 years. No one can claim that only the rich are benefiting from this economy. Regardless of where people are on the economic scale, they are seeing improvement.
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS): The government doesn’t create jobs, the private sector creates jobs. The government creates barriers. When you reduce taxes, you increase federal revenue. Fed revenues are at the highest point ever. Thanks to Secretary Snow for removing barriers so that the private sector can grow.
Rep. Tom Feeney (FL): We had a $10 trillion economy before the tax cuts, it’s now $13 trillion. The proof is in the pudding. Full employment used to be considered to be 5% — it’s below that now. We’ve not done a good enough job explaining this recovery. For the economic chicken littles, look up — sky is clear, news is great.
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