While traveling across my home state of Florida, I often ask the people I meet whether they are enjoying a better standard of living than their parents did at the same age.
Generally, the answer is yes. But when asked whether their own kids will enjoy a better living standard when they reach the same age, the answer is invariably a resounding no.
The American dream is dying on President Clinton's watch. What's the American dream all about?
It's about handing over a better future to our kids. It's about working hard and making the best of opportunities. It's about hope.
The economic data show that growth under Bill Clinton pales in comparison to average growth during the postwar era. Since 1993, GDP has fallen $308 billion behind that average, which means that this administration's high tax, heavy regulation policies will cost a typical household $3,116 this year, or $260 a month.
American families are working harder and keeping less. There has been zero real median family income growth under this administration.
More and more families are seeing their breadwinners take second jobs to make ends meet - a 16 percent increase since January 1994.
And at the same time that incomes are stagnating, family tax burdens are rising. Since 1950, the typical American has forfeited more than an extra month's work to cover the growing cost of taxes. Tax Freedom Day, the day that families can begin to work for themselves rather than work to pay off their taxes, has slid from April 3 in 1950 to May 7 today.
How can we return to the more robust growth rates of our recent past? By providing meaningful tax relief for every American and by adopting an honest balanced budget plan that will bring down the deficit and promote economic growth.
Republicans know that we can and must do both. In fact, only by establishing these twin goals can either actually be accomplished.
Eliminating wasteful government programs and streamlining the bureaucracy are important parts of the Republican vision. But, taken alone they are not enough.
Cutting taxes and freeing up capital are integral ingredients for a successful and prosperous society.
Reducing the tax burden on low-income jobs, middle-class savers, and entrepreneurial investment will spur a genuine recovery.
We know what works. As President Kennedy once said, "...the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now." When President Reagan cut taxes in the 1980s, the economy created 21.5 million new jobs, 4 million new business. Revenues increased by 40 percent, the gross national product grew by one-third, and inflation remained low.
THE best way to get this economy moving again and restore hope and opportunity for Americans is to give people more of their own money back, balance the budget, and create an environment conducive to strong economic growth. Economic growth through less taxing, less spending, smaller government, and more freedom is nothing less than a proxy for the American dream.
* Sen. Connie Mack (R) of Florida is the chairman of the Joint Economic Committee.