It has been reported in the news recently that the President and the Bush Republicans would like to focus on the economy in the weeks leading up to the November elections. As the senior House Democrat on the Joint Economic Committee, I pay close attention to the economic indicators, and I would welcome this focus on our economy and how it has performed under the Bush administration.

The Bush economy has not helped working Americans and the middle class. The benefits of economic gains have appeared in corporate bottom lines, but not in the wallets of the American worker. Too many of the economic vital statistics have gone in the wrong direction over the past five or six years – let’s take a look at some of the statistics that affect working Americans.

President Bush has the worst job creation record of any president since Hoover – and that includes a paltry 51,000 jobs created last month.

Budget discipline has been abandoned by the Administration and the Bush Republicans in Congress, as we ended the last fiscal year with $247.7 billion deficit. The Bush Administration has turned record surpluses into record deficits. A projected $5.6 trillion 10-year surplus at the end of the Clinton Administration has turned into a nearly $3 trillion deficit – including four of the worst deficits in the history of America. This is an economic burden that will be left on the backs of our children and grandchildren.

The trade deficit hit an all-time monthly high of $69.9 billion in August. The annual trade deficit has hit record highs in each of the past five years and is well on its way to doing so again in 2006. The Bush economy continues to set records, only they are the wrong kind of records to set.

In addition, working-age families have seen a large decline in their incomes. For five straight years, from 2001 through 2005, the income of the typical household headed by someone under the age of 65, after adjusting for inflation, fell by a total of $3,000.  If you are getting paid a little bit more but you can’t buy as much as you could before because prices are higher, your “real income