Good morning. This week, we received more good news showing that our economy is strong and growing. The Department of Labor reports that our economy has now created jobs for 46 consecutive months. America added 132,000 jobs in June, and that means our economy has added more than 8.2 million new jobs since August of 2003. Unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high, incomes are rising, and opportunity is growing across America.
Our Nation's strong economy is no accident. It is the result of the hard work of the American people and pro-growth policies in Washington. Starting in 2001, my Administration delivered the largest tax relief since Ronald Reagan was in the White House. Our tax relief has left $1.1 trillion in the hands of citizens like you to save, and spend, and invest as you see fit.
Over the past three years, we have also held the growth of annual domestic spending close to one percent — well below the rate of inflation. The result is a thriving and resilient economy that is the envy of the world.
Over the past six years, our economy has overcome serious challenges: a stock market decline, recession, corporate scandals, an attack on our homeland, and the demands of an ongoing war on terror. Despite these obstacles, our economy recovered and tax revenues soared, and America is now in a position to balance the Federal budget. To achieve this goal, I sent Congress a budget plan this February that would keep taxes low, restrain Federal spending, and put us in surplus by 2012.
Next week, my Administration will release a report called the Mid-Session Review, which will provide you with an update on our Nation's progress in meeting the goal of a balanced budget. We know from experience that when we pursue policies of low taxes and spending restraint, the economy grows, tax revenues go up, and the deficit goes down.
Democratic leaders in Congress want to take our country down a different track. They are working to bring back the failed tax-and-spend policies of the past. The Democrats' budget plan proposes $205 billion in additional domestic spending over the next five years and includes the largest tax increase in history. No nation has ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. And I have made it clear that I will veto any attempt to take America down this road.
Democrats in Congress are also behind schedule passing the individual spending bills needed to keep the Federal government running. At their current pace, I will not see a single one of the 12 must-pass bills before Congress leaves Washington for the month-long August recess. The fiscal year ends September 30th. By failing to do the work necessary to pass these important bills by the end of the fiscal year, Democrats are failing in their responsibility to make tough decisions and spend the people's money wisely.
This moment is a test. Under our Constitution, Congress holds the power of the purse. Democratic leaders are in control of Congress. They set the schedule for when bills are considered. They determine when votes are held. Democrats have a chance to prove they are for open and transparent government by working to complete each spending bill independently and on time. I urge Democrats in Congress to step forward now and pass these bills one at a time.
As they do, I will insist they restrain spending so we can keep our government running — while sustaining our growing economy and getting our budget into balance. And to help achieve these goals, I call on the Senate to act on my nomination of Jim Nussle as Director of the Office of Management and Budget. Jim is a former Chairman of the House Budget Committee, and he will be a strong advocate for protecting your tax dollars here in Washington.
By setting clear budget priorities and maintaining strong fiscal discipline, we can promote economic growth and bring our budget into balance. Our Nation has the most innovative, industrious, and talented people on the face of the Earth. And when we unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of our country, there is no limit to what the American people can achieve, or the hope and opportunity we can pass on to future generations.
Thank you for listening.