paleface speak with forked tongue

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    Bush: Economy "getting better"

    But president says there's still room for improvement after September's surprise rise in payrolls.
    October 3, 2003: 3:47 PM EDT

    MILWAUKEE (CNN) - President Bush claimed credit for positive economic news Friday, suggesting his tax relief plan is showing results by helping businesses create jobs for the U.S. economy.

    The Labor Department reported that while the unemployment rate held steady at 6.1 percent last month, 57,000 jobs were added to the payrolls outside the farm sector last month. It was the first gain in payrolls since January. Economists generally expected a rise in the jobless rate for September.

    "It's the first time that's happened in seven months," Bush said in a Milwaukee speech, referring to the job growth. "Things are getting better. But there's still work to do."

    Bush traced the economic downturn to March 2000, before his election, when the stock markets began a rapid descent. The recession began, he said, in the early months of 2001.

    "Things started getting going OK, though," Bush said. "And then we were attacked on September the 11th, 2001, and that hurt us. It hurt the economy, but it hurt our psyche, as well.

    "And by far, the vast majority of economic historians would say that, as a result of the tax relief, the recession was shallow, because we started coming out after three quarters," Bush said.

    "The tax relief we passed, letting people keep more of their own money, is an essential ingredient to making sure people can find work in America," he said.

    The president also blamed corporate accounting scandals for slowing the economy, pointing to "corporate CEOs that forgot their responsibility to our society."

    "They didn't tell the truth," Bush said. "They didn't tell the truth to their employees and their shareholders. They failed to uphold the high standards expected in America, and therefore they're going to pay the price."
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