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(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray delivered the Democrat's response to the President's weekly radio address.

Senator Murray's remarks follow:

Good morning, I'm Senator Patty Murray from Washington State. These are challenging times for all Americans. We face war in Iraq and North Korea's nuclear program. Osama bin Laden remains at large, and our country is still on alert.

As we confront challenges abroad, we cannot ignore what's happening here at home. To feel secure about our future, we need to do more than address global conflicts. We must strengthen our homeland security and improve our stagnant economy.

Each week we get more proof that Bush-a-nomics is failing American families. This week, consumer confidence plummeted to the lowest level in nine years.

Just listen to a small-business owner from my state. Sue runs a retail shop in Seattle. 2001 and 2002 were very bad years, and she was hoping for a rebound. But, she wrote me, "It just keeps getting worse…. Between the stock market plunge and my business bringing in no income, my IRA has shrunk by more than half… and it will be gone by the end of this year to pay my bills. After that happens, I'll have the choice of losing either my house or my business."

Sue and millions of other honest, hardworking Americans are looking for leadership. Unfortunately, the White House is not giving us an honest effort. The Bush Administration continues to say one thing and do another.

When he signed the education reform bill, President Bush promised that schools in America would get the help they need, but he never delivered.

Then the President said he supported America's first responders. But when Congress provided funding for local firefighters and police, the President rejected it.

This is the same President who told us his 2001 tax plan would stimulate the economy, but today things have gotten worse. Two and a half million Americans have lost their jobs. The stock market continues to slide. Families are losing health insurance. And retirement is less secure.

Now the President wants us to trust him again as he proposes more of the same, and once more, he says it will help our economy. But his tax plan just doesn't make sense, and he's not telling the whole story.

Last week the President claimed that the Blue Chip survey of economists supported his plan, but then he had to backpedal because those economists never endorsed his plan.

The President claims that his plan will provide an average tax reduction of one thousand dollars. What he doesn't say is that half of all taxpayers – half of all taxpayers -- would get less than a hundred dollars under his plan.

Our economy is in a hole, but rather than looking for a ladder, the President is reaching for a bigger shovel.

The President needs to level with the American people, and focus on our economic security at home. No wonder public support for the President's economic policies is at its lowest level ever. The American people understand that the Bush approach is not working.

We can do better. Our country has pulled itself out of economic problems before, and we can do it again. All it takes is an honest assessment of where we stand and the right policies to make a difference.

Democrats have a plan that will put people back to work, strengthen our economy, and get our country back on the right track.

Our plan is fair. It puts money into the hands of every American, not just the chosen few.

It's immediate. It will provide stimulus today and growth tomorrow by investing in our infrastructure and giving people the tools to succeed.

And our plan is fiscally responsible. It's short-term so it won't create mountains of debt that will burden our children.

We've got the right plan to help all Americans, and we want to pass it, but this week Republicans in the Senate blocked our efforts to stimulate new job growth and higher wages.

We deserve better. America is a strong nation, and the source our strength is right here at home. As Americans, we are secure when we have job opportunities, access to health care and good schools for our children. That requires leadership.

During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt reassured an anxious nation with his honest, straightforward leadership. We could use the same today.

This is Senator Patty Murray of Washington State. Thanks for listening.