President Bush, when asked by reporters following Friday’s meeting with his economic advisors at Camp David, rejected US District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor’s decision finding the NSA’s Terrorist Surveillance Program unconstitutional. “We believe — strongly believe it’s constitutional.”
In a statement to reporters, President Bush made the case for his tax cuts and offered a solid economy with an annual growth rate of 4 percent for the first half of 2006, unemployment at 4.8 percent, a strong increase in productivity and an increase in federal revenues of 14.5 percent as proof that indeed the tax cuts were working.
We discussed the state of the economy. We discussed where our economy is headed. And we discussed the steps that we’re going to take to ensure that our economy continues to lead the world. The foundation of our economy is solid, and it’s strong. Because of the tax cuts we passed, American workers and families and small businesses are keeping more of the money they earn. And they’re using that money to drive this economy of ours forward.
The economy grew at 4 percent annual rate during the first half of 2006, and this means that our economy is maintaining solid growth, and performing in line with expectations. Our solid economic growth is creating real benefits for American workers and families and entrepreneurs. Since August 2003, we’ve added more than 5.5 million new jobs. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent. Productivity growth is strong. Behind the numbers are stories of hard-working Americans who are realizing their dreams. The entrepreneurial spirit in this country is strong, and that’s good for America.
The economic growth has had a positive impact on the budget, and that’s good for the taxpayers. Last year, economic growth pushed up federal tax revenues by 14.5 percent — it’s the largest increase in 24 years. This year, tax revenues are projected to increase by another 11.4 percent, and at the same time, we are working with Congress to restrain federal spending. We’re meeting our priorities and we’re restraining federal spending.
We recently learned that this year’s deficit is projected to be 30 percent lower than we initially thought, and that means we’re on track to cut the deficit in half by 2008, a full year ahead of the original goal. We’ve got to keep this economy growing through pro-growth economic policies. Taxes need to be kept low.
President Bush was optimistic about the economic future and ended his statement on a positive note. He praised the strength and resilience of the US economy as it has overcome unprecedented challenges and adversity, and thanked the American people for their resolve.
All of us here are confident about the future of this country. Over the past five years, our economy has faced unprecedented challenges from recession to corporate scandal to terrorist attack to natural disasters. And through it all, our free-enterprise system has proved to be the most resilient and responsive in the world.
With hard work and wise policies, we’ll meet every challenge that comes. And in so doing, we’ll help more Americans realize their dreams and continue to make this country a grand — a land of great opportunities.
With that simple question, any pretense of objectivity from the partisan press evaporated. Not one reporter asked a single question about the US economy. There can be no deviation from the media’s current action-line, and the question regarding Judge Taylor’s decision speaks for itself. It seems that partisan politics is more important than national security, and scoring cheap political points in the minds of their surrealistic fellow travelers is most important.
Apparently, it was not unanticipated. President Bush’s straightforward answer, and the forcefulness with which it was delivered, is indicative of the seriousness he places in his Commander-in-Chief duties and his constitutional responsibility to protect the American people.
Examine the question, peruse the answer and judge for yourself.
Q: Mr. President, the federal ruling yesterday that declared your terrorist surveillance program unconstitutional — the judge wrote that it was never the intent of the framers to give the President such unfettered control. How do you respond, sir, to opponents who say that this ruling is really the first nail in the coffin of your administration’s legal strategy in the war on terror?
THE PRESIDENT: I would say that those who herald this decision simply do not understand the nature of the world in which we live. You might remember last week working with the — with people in Great Britain, we disrupted a plot. People were trying to come and kill people.
This country of ours is at war, and we must give those whose responsibility it is to protect the United States the tools necessary to protect this country in a time of war. The judge’s decision was a — I strongly disagree with that decision, strongly disagree. That’s why I instructed the Justice Department to appeal immediately, and I believe our appeals will be upheld.
I made my position clear about this war on terror. And by the way, the enemy made their position clear yet again when we were able to stop them. And I — the American people expect us to protect them, and therefore I put this program in place. We believe — strongly believe it’s constitutional.
And if al Qaeda is calling in to the United States, we want to know why they’re calling. And so I made my position clear. It would be interesting to see what other policymakers — how other policymakers react.
Crossposted at Redstate
“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” – Ronald Reagan