By Melanie Hunter, CNSNews.com Deputy Managing Editor
A top House Democrat Monday called President Bush's $2.75 trillion budget plan "fiscally irresponsible fraud" that will be rejected by members of the president's own party.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said the president's fiscal year 2006 budget "deliberately excludes the trillions of dollars" needed to implement Bush's Social Security privatization plan as well as the money needed to fund the Iraq war effort.
"The President also failed to show leadership on Social Security by not including any new details on his plan to address that program's long-term challenges," Hoyer said in a statement.
"The Administration is just not leveling with the American people. It is posturing, pretending and prevaricating. The fact is, this is the kind of budgeting sleight of hand that makes the American people cynical," he added.
Hoyer accused the Bush administration of turning "record budget surpluses into deficits as far as the eye can see, including a projected record deficit of $427 billion this year that is actually $162 billion larger - or $589 billion - because the Social Security surplus masks its true size."
The Democrat said the administration "has simply not proposed a real plan to restore fiscal discipline to the federal budget." Added Hoyer: "More than 40 percent of the proposed deficit reduction in the President's budget would be achieved not by tough choices on taxes and spending but by the growth of Social Security surpluses."
Hoyer claimed many of Bush's proposed spending cuts "will be rejected outright" by Republicans.
"What is absolutely stunning is that this President has told the nation that Social Security is nearing 'bankruptcy,' when the reality is that his own economic policies are bankrupting our nation, immorally forcing our children and grandchildren to pay this generation's bills, and threatening our long-term national security," Hoyer said.
"Democrats are committed to restoring fiscal discipline to the federal budget process by returning to the pay-as-you-go policies which produced budget surpluses in the 1990s. The President's budget seems to be little more than a public relations gimmick that permits the Administration to masquerade for a day as fiscally responsible," he added.