The most important story in the country today is a faltering economy. And that's the subject of today's Talking Points memo.

The stock market took another huge hit today, down 227 points on the Dow. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's on his way to Europe to assure that community that the American economy is fundamentally strong. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. But I do know this, a couple of months of economic damage, and President Bush will be in major trouble, so he has to do something.

As we told you back in October, Alan Greenspan is a major reason why our economy has contracted. He should be fired, but he can't be because of federal rules, but there are other forces in place as well. Most Americans are in the red. They're still working, but they owe money. We are a consuming society and we spend almost everything we make. The average working man has about $1,000 in savings and more than that in credit card debt.

Talking Points has been also telling you that taxation is also preventing working Americans from stockpiling money. Today, July 6th, is the first day the average American is working for himself. Up until today, everything you've earned will go to the government. From now on, you get to keep your salary. This, of course, is insane, especially since our system provides generally poor public education, sky high prescription drug prices and few amenities for the sick and elderly.

We are not a socialistic society. And if you're going to depend on Uncle Sam, you will get the bare minimum. The fundamental flaw in our system is that no one watches how the tax money is being spent. Thus, billions of dollars are wasted, stolen, or used on ineffective programs. We have proven this time and time again on The Factor.

President Bush is celebrating his 55th birthday today and we wish him a happy day, but come Monday, the president has to begin reassuring the American people that his team has a plan to get the economy moving again. Few on Wall Street or in the corporate world have any confidence right now in Alan Greenspan. So Mr. Bush has to step up. If he doesn't, he will find himself with collapsing approval ratings and his legislative agenda will be in jeopardy because the opposition can smell weakness.

As Bush, the elder, found out the hard way, the economy is the most important issue in America. Somebody better do something fast.

And that's the memo.

Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Vanity Fair magazine has an article in its August issue called "The Bully Boys of Fox News." Of course, your humble correspondent is one of those boys.

But get this. So is Neil Cavuto, who if you believe this piece should be running the Hells Angels outfit. We'll talk with the guy who wrote the article on Monday. That should be interesting. Until then, it could be ridiculous.

— You can watch Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points weeknights at 8 p.m. ET.  And send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com