Welcome to the "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Dated October 27th, 2005
Dear Mr. Snow, I read on your web-site that "The American economy is the envy of the world." My wife and I are both teachers and we are expecting our first child in May. My concern is that I have read many reports that a recesion in right around the corner and that school districts will be forced to lay of teachers. Is the Bush ecomomic plan have any provisions that will keep this from happening. Thank you for our service to our country.
John Snow: Hello, Daniel, and thank you for writing in with your story and this very important question. There is flatly no reason to be worried about a national economic recession in the near future, and I hope I can put your worries to rest.
Making sure that the American economy remains the largest, strongest and most resilient in the world has always been a priority of President Bush. His sound fiscal policies enabled us to recover from economic challenges and today we are on a solid path of economic growth. In order to maintain this economic strength the President is working to keep taxes low and spending restrained. He is also addressing long-term economic challenges like our dependence on foreign oil and the need to prepare future generations of American workers for 21st Century jobs. He’s also confronting the problems facing our entitlement programs and making sure that American businesses have the option of doing business with the potential customers that live outside of the U.S. – that’s 95 percent of the world’s customers, by the way, since the U.S. only represents about 5 percent of the world’s population.
You have every reason to be confident in the President’s ability to keep our economy strong.
John Snow is a proffessional liar. John Snow writes "There is flatly no reason to be worried about a national economic recession in the near future." How about the following concerns?
- Huge Trade Deficit
- Large Federal Debt / Deficit
- The end of the housing boom
- Continued affects of offshoring
- High Energy prices
- Nonexistant consumer savings rate / High Consumer Debt
- New Bankruptcy Laws / New Credit Card minimium payments
- Security Costs / Risks
Secretary Snow, Is there a real estate bubble in the economy right now? Thanks Kristina
John Snow: While we should always be on guard for “bubbles” or areas where economic activity doesn’t correspond with underlying economic fundamentals – as was the case with stock market bubble of the late 1990s – I don’t think this is the case with America’s housing market. For one thing, when we talk about our housing market, we’re really talking about hundreds of housing markets, each with different characteristics, in local markets. For the most part, strong economic fundamentals are contributing importantly to the housing boom in many local markets. Some of the factors that have contributed to a housing boom include low mortgage rates, rising employment and incomes, a growing population and a limited supply of homes or land in some areas. We’ll continue to keep a close eye on the health of our housing market because it is so important to our national economy and to the wealth and prosperity of millions of American families.
John Snow is right that low mortgage rates and a growing population contributed to housing price apprecaition. However, rising incomes are a crock; real wages have been basically stagnant for the last few years. Neverthless, the factors do not add up to the unprecedented price appreciation seen in the bubble markets in the past 5 years.
Jessica, from Gardner, MA writes: I would like to know why the government is so insistant that the economy is fine? Gas, heating oil and electric prices are outrageous, there is no enforcement on cost of living raises and there is NO extra money. Please explain to me on how the economy is "strong". Thank you
John Snow: Hi, Jessica, thanks for participating in “Ask the White House!” My answer to Emily’s question, earlier, addressed a lot of your concerns about the economy (which is doing very well – growing and creating jobs at a terrific rate), but I do want to address your concern about energy costs. You’re right that this has been a challenge for Americans. High energy prices act like a tax on individuals, families and small businesses. That’s why the President is dedicated to reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil. The energy bill he signed this summer made an unprecedented commitment to energy conservation and efficiency by promoting new technologies and giving consumers incentives to use energy-saving products. Over the long term, these steps are going to make this country more energy-independent and save us money
Snow is out of touch with Americans. A challenge? Is this some sort of video game? These are real people. Snow, when was the last time you filled up for gas? Paid a heating bill? Do you know what it is like to live on 20,000 a year in Massachusetts and face high gasoline prices and home heating costs during the winter?
You can read the full transcript here.