WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the Bush Administration’s announcement that the federal budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2004 was a record $413 billion:
“I’m sure the excuse machine that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will spin into overdrive with all sorts of rationalizations for the Republican Party’s unprecedented fiscal mismanagement over the last four years. But the American people see right through the Bush Administration’s smokescreen.
“George W. Bush and Congressional Republicans audaciously preen as fiscal ‘conservatives’ while driving this nation further and further into debt, and forcing our children to pay our bills. That is not only irresponsible, it is immoral. Perhaps even worse, they seem to believe their own political spin and pretend that they have a ‘plan’ to rein in these record deficits when they plainly do not.
“The Administration and even some Congressional Republicans point the finger of blame at a so-called ‘free-spending’ Congress, but they refuse to acknowledge that Republicans themselves control both the House and Senate. Furthermore, the President himself has refused to veto even one spending bill during his four years in office.
“In fact, if the President were serious about fiscal responsibility, he would veto the corporate tax bill that sits on his desk awaiting his signature. But he has given no indication that he will reject this pork-laden bill, which ‘fixes’ a $5 billion problem with $150 billion in handouts to corporations.
“If the American people elect John Kerry and Democrats to majorities in the House and Senate, they can be assured that we will fight for fiscal sanity and make it a priority. Democrats in Congress and President Clinton fought for fiscal responsibility in the 1990s, and that policy led to the longest peacetime expansion of our economy in history.
“We are simply fooling ourselves if we believe that we can continue on the current fiscal course.”