HOYER: BUSH ADMINISTRATION NEEDS TO FACE REALITY ON THE ECONOMY

For Immediate Release:

September 30, 2003

Contact:Stacey Farnen
202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Conference Board reported this morning that consumer confidence plunged in September.  In addition, the Census Bureau has reported in the last several days that the poverty rate has gone up, median household incomes have gone down and the number of uninsured Americans has increased:

“When it comes to our stagnating economy, the Bush Administration needs to get its head out of the sand and must start to face reality.  This President’s economic policies are failing the American people, and the Administration seems incapable or unwilling to admit it.  And even worse, it has no pro-active plan to address these failed policies.

“In less than a week, the Census Bureau reported that 1.7 million Americans slipped into poverty in the last year, leaving more Americans living in poverty today – almost 35 million – than ever before.  Median household income fell for the third straight year.  The number of Americans without health insurance shot up by 2.4 million last year, increasing the total of uninsured to nearly 44 million.  And now, the Conference Board has reported today that consumer confidence plunged in September.

“With new unemployment figures due out on Friday, the Bush Administration’s economic team seems only to be holding its breath and crossing its fingers, hoping that it does not have to endure more bad news.  But we all know, working people really are the ones who have borne the brunt of a failed economic plan that relied on tax cuts that disproportionately benefited the wealthy.

“This President said that his economic plan ‘is summed up in one word: jobs.’  But to be accurate, it can be summed up in three – loss of jobs.  Our economy has lost 3.3 million jobs, including 2.5 million in the manufacturing sector, since President Bush took office, and he is on course to become the first president since the Great Depression to actually preside over a net loss in jobs.

“Furthermore, the President’s policies have driven this nation into record debt, and with the end of the fiscal year today, we will record a record federal budget deficit of more than $400 billion.  The Bush Administration’s magic elixir of tax cuts for the wealthy has actually cast a hex on our economy, and we need to recognize that it is time to change course.”  

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