WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Conference Board reported a sharp drop in consumer confidence in July while Bush Administration Cabinet members tour the country to tout their economic achievements:
"How much longer do the American people have to listen to the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans repeat the same tired refrain that our economy is 'poised for a strong rebound?' For 2½ years they've promised us that huge tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the most affluent would rev up the economy. But today we have the highest unemployment rate in nine years, President Bush has the worst record of job creation since Herbert Hoover, and more than 9 million Americans are out of work. Furthermore, in 30 short months, we've gone from record budget surpluses to a projected budget deficit of $455 billion this year - the largest deficit in American history.
"This Administration must think that it can paper over its failed economic policies by urging its cheerleaders to just shout louder. But happy days are not here again, as much as the Bush economic team wants the American people to believe otherwise. While the President's economic advisors were on the road talking up the economy, the brutal reality hit them in the face today when the Conference Board reported that consumer confidence was down sharply in July.
"It's time this Administration faced reality, accepted responsibility and admitted that its economic program has been an unmitigated failure. Cheerleading is not the answer.
"Earlier this year, Democrats urged Republicans to join us in supporting our fast-acting and fiscally responsible economic growth plan that would have created one million new jobs in 2003. We still believe that plan is the right medicine for our ailing economy today. We urge our Republican friends to re-examine their failed policies."