Hoyer: How Can We Trust the President's Budget and Social Security Estimates Now?

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding a new estimate on prescription drug costs by the Bush Administration:

“The Bush Administration has finally been forced to admit that its Medicare prescription drug package will actually cost $1.2 trillion over the next decade, more than twice as much as the figure it provided just over a year ago.

“While astonishing and disappointing, this news should not come as a surprise.  The Bush White House has consistently and deliberately withheld and underestimated numbers when it is politically convenient.  During the Medicare debate, the Administration threatened Medicare’s chief actuary to prevent him from releasing an analysis that showed that the Republican bill would cost $534 billion, or $134 billion more than promised.

“The upshot of this most recent revelation is that the President’s credibility is in tatters when it comes to cost estimates.  Just this week, the White House offered a fraudulent budget that ignored the costs of privatizing Social Security, funding our war effort in Iraq, and fixing the Alternative Minimum Tax.  Moreover, this episode calls into question the President’s alarmist rhetoric that Social Security is going bankrupt.

“It’s time for President Bush and Congressional Republicans to shoot straight with the American people rather than hide behind rosy cost estimates that have no relationship with reality.”

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