Our view is that economic isolationism is the wrong way to go. Vibrant, successful growing economies that advance the interests of their citizens engage the global economy. And, we're committed to engaging the global economy.
Well, there's no doubt about the fact that, that higher energy prices lead to greater conservation, greater energy efficiency, and they also, of course, play a useful role on the supply side.
Telecom is a dramatic success in India and our view is, respecting the political process, and respecting the fact that these are sovereign decisions, is that, approaching India as a friend.
We have the most flexible and adaptive economy. Making sure we sustain the ability of the American economy to perform well is really the priority of economic policy.
And our big theme has been, you have made so much progress, we urge you on with the openings and market openings that have occurred. They clearly work and continuing on that path will produce further growth and further opportunities for the Indian people.
Everybody you talk to about insurance says the insurance market has become a lot more vibrant as a result of lifting, allowing the foreign direct investment.
We have a serious structural deficit problem. And it needs to be addressed. The president is trying to address it through reforms of Social Security, but the problem is there with other entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
But clearly an economy that's growing and expanding like this one - and it certainly is doing that with high GDP output, employment numbers strong, capacity utilization strong - that's an environment in which the Fed needs to continually be alert to early signs of inflation.
And one of our points of continuing conversation with our trading partners is the urgency of their taking steps to remove barriers to their improved growth performance.
And we have abundant natural energy resources in the country. We haven't been taking adequate advantage of them, and we can burn coal in a clean way; we could improve the grid.
Moderation of oil prices would be very, very welcome. But overall I think we are in a position of stable growth, sustainable growth, and basically with inflation in check.
And I think the American people look to the leaders to lead. They look to the leaders to take on the big problems. And the president deserves a lot of credit for doing that.
Social Security represents an $11 trillion unfunded obligation. And when I say unfunded obligation, I mean we have to come up with $11 trillion at some point to make the system whole.
I think we'll build a consensus for action on Social Security reform which will reduce that long-term unfunded obligation and put the system on a sustainable basis.
The deficit - the U.S. knows our deficit is too large. We are committed to bringing it down. We are bringing it down. The deficit came in for fiscal year '05 at considerably below where it was the prior year.
We can get more energy out of the north slope of Alaska; we have available the ability to make ourselves less dependent on those uncertain sources of supply from the Middle East. And it's important we do that.
We're focused on doing the things that make the economy perform well, and as you do that, reduce deficits, for one, very important; secondly, keep growth rates high, very important.
We promote domestic savings by also things like the personal accounts associated with the president's Social Security initiative, which over time would generate more savings.
Well, the U.S. is running a current account deficit; we are creating lots of investment opportunities in the United States that exceed our own domestic savings rates, so the issue here is to encourage higher savings rates in the United States.
Well, I think the best thing we can do for the short term is move good energy legislation through to the Congress; I'm encouraged that there's some prospect for that now.