Hoyer: Bush Budget Is Irresponsible, Unrealistic – and Generally Irrelevant

The American People Want and Deserve Honest Accounting, Says Democratic Whip

For Immediate Release:

February 6, 2006

Contact:Liz Packard
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the Bush Administration’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2007:

    “Today, with the release of the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2007, the Administration demonstrates in black and white that it is really not serious about arresting the river of red ink that its policies have instigated during the last five years.  In fact, when it comes to the issue of fiscal responsibility, this Administration will long be remembered for saying one thing and doing another, and for leaving a fiscal mess that will have to be cleaned up by future Administrations and Congresses.  I simply do not believe that is responsible policy.

     “During his 60 months in office, President Bush turned a projected 10-year surplus of $5.6 trillion into a projected deficit of nearly $4 trillion, including a record deficit of $423 billion in the current Fiscal Year and deficits for the foreseeable future.  And today, in this budget, the Administration turns a blind eye to its own fiscal recklessness.

     “If the President and Congressional Republicans really were serious about restoring fiscal discipline, they would join Democrats in re-instating the common-sense pay-as-you-go budget rules that both parties supported in the 1990s and that led to record budget surpluses and the pay down of the national debt.  Instead, the Administration eschews PAYGO rules and demands that Congress make its tax cuts permanent without even a hint of how it plans to pay for such policies.  Instead, the Administration continues to cling to a free-lunch philosophy that has sent our nation into a fiscal tailspin over the last five years.  Instead, this Administration continues to spend every single nickel of the Social Security surplus.

     “Furthermore, even the deficit projections in this budget are understated because the Administration fails to account for the costs of the war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan and the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast – some $120 billion and $18 billion, respectively.  By any measure, the Administration’s budget can only be characterized as fiscally irresponsible, unrealistic and generally irrelevant to the budget debate that will occur on Capitol Hill over the next several months.

     “I believe the American people want and deserve honest accounting in our federal budget – an honest accounting that the Administration’s budget fails to provide.  In the days and weeks ahead, Democrats will continue to fight for a fiscally responsible budget because we believe it is simply wrong for this generation of Americans to force future generations to pay our bills.”

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