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Bush Says US Economy In Period Of 'Lasting Expansion' - 2004-02-07


President Bush says his election-year budget includes more money to help Americans find jobs. Democrats say the president's tax cuts are hurting America's cities.

President Bush says the U-S economy is growing stronger, with unemployment last month falling to 5.6 percent and manufacturers reporting new orders. With low inflation and the home-ownership rate at an all-time high, Mr. Bush says, his tax cuts are working.

"All of these are signs that our economic recovery is becoming a lasting expansion. Yet, many of the new jobs being created require workers to learn new skills, and we can make sure that more Americans are prepared for these new opportunities," Mr. Bush said.

His budget includes a so-called Jobs for the 21st Century plan to help high school students who are falling behind in reading and math, and to expand advanced placement programs in low-income school districts.

It also asks Congress for 250 million dollars for community colleges to help mid-life workers train for new careers.

Democrats say the president's record tax cuts unfairly favor wealthier Americans, and have reduced federal assistance for cities and states, lowering spending on schools and infrastructure, including roads and bridges.

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