New Treasury Secretary John Snow reaffirmed President's Bush's commitment to the credit union tax exemption and discussed how credit unions can help strengthen the nation's battered economy.
"With more than 81 million members, credit unions are major players among the country's financial services providers," Snow told the GAC audience. "I commend credit unions and what you're all about in making this a stronger, healthier economy, and for mobilizing the savings of millions of Americans."
Snow suggested that while the nation's economy is in the midst of a recovery, it is a much slower and less robust recovery than what the country needs, noting that the "geopolitical situation" has affected the stock market, energy prices and the way businesses choose to spend their money. The credit union role, then, is to provide Americans with a means of saving money and building capital and to help consumers become more financially literate.
Snow also spent some time stumping for Bush's economic plan, saying it would speed up the tax cuts retroactive to Jan. 1, 2003-that would mean about $1,100 back in the pocketbooks of a family earning $40,000 a year.
On the business side of the economic equation, Snow said Bush's plan calls for a reduction small business tax rates, as well, which would help those firms to expand, which should allow those companies to create new jobs-about 400,000 new positions by the end of 2003 and more than 2 million by 2005 and an increase in the gross domestic product of 2.5%, he said.
"That means more money for credit union members," Snow offered, "and a growing asset base for credit unions."