Deficit at lowest level since 2002

Published 5:38 am Monday, July 16, 2007

By By Jo Bonner
Last week, President Bush and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that this year's federal budget deficit will be nearly $40 billion lower than originally projected.
This means the deficit is less than half of what it was just three years ago, and it happened without raising taxes. Originally projected to be $244 billion, the deficit will come in at about $205 billion – the lowest point in five years.
The series of tax relief legislation signed into law in 2001 and 2003 has returned $2 trillion to the pockets of American taxpayers – fueling our economic growth and record job creation.
It was also announced last week that 123,000 jobs were created in June – that's 46 straight months of job growth with the national unemployment rate, 4.5 percent, hovering at record lows.
Here in Alabama, our unemployment rate continues to be well below the national average – Alabama's unemployment rate in May held steady at 3.0 percent.
And there was even more good news to go around last week – stocks soared as the Dow, riding good retail news, bested its previous high set earlier this summer.
All of this good news should serve as a caution flag for the new House majority.
In just six months of being in the majority, nearly $400 billion in tax increases – over the next five years – has been pushed through the House. This federal budget would eliminate each and every one of the historic tax cuts that have supported over four straight years of economic and job growth.
Clearly, there is ample evidence our economy is on the right track. The new majority must rethink these new tax and spend plans in order to continue on the policy path that has fostered our strong economy.
Town Meetings Scheduled for August
I am pleased to announce that my staff and I have scheduled an upcoming series of town meetings during August. These meetings are scheduled for the week of August 13, 2007, and I hope your schedule will allow you to attend.
Traveling throughout Alabama's First District gives me the opportunity to hear directly from my constituents their thoughts on the news coming out of Washington.
Next month, I will be holding 20 meetings in all six counties of the First District. Over the past four and half years, I have held over 150 town hall meetings, and thousands of people have taken the opportunity to come out and share their opinions, their questions, and their concerns on many of the issues that will directly affect them and their families.
I look forward to an equally successful series of meetings this year and hope each of you will take the opportunity to find the meeting closest to your home and come out to visit with my staff and me.
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – Dauphin Island
Town Hall
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Tillman's Corner, Community Center
12:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Prichard
City Hall
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Saraland
Civic Center
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Citronelle
City Hall
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Stockton
Stage Coach Restaurant
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Mount Vernon, Town Hall
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. – McIntosh
Town Hall
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. – Grove Hill
Town Hall
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Uriah
Uriah Volunteer Fire Department
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. – Perdue Hill Masonic Lodge
2:30 – 3:30 p.m. – East Brewton
City Hall
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Flomaton
Town Hall
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. – Josephine
Josephine Volunteer Fire Department
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Bon Secour, Bon Secour Volunteer Fire Department
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. – Magnolia Springs
Magnolia Springs Volunteer Fire Department
3:30 – 4:30 p.m. – Summerdale
Community Center
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Silverhill
Town Hall
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. – West Mobile
Jon Archer Agricultural Center
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. – Bayou La Batre, City Hall
My staff and I work for you. If we can ever be of service, do not hesitate to call my office toll free at 1-800-288-8721 or visit my website at .
Jo Bonner is a U.S. congressman. His column appears weekly.

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