WASHINGTON, DC -- House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding the new budget forecast by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The CBO predicts a $477 billion deficit for Fiscal Year 2004, which is 4.2 percent of GDP:
"The non-partisan CBO's report today is further proof that the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans are spendthrifts who squandered an unprecedented opportunity to prepare our nation for the challenges ahead and instead mortgaged our children's future by increasing spending while cutting taxes.
"The Bush Administration and Republicans in Congress preach the gospel of fiscal discipline but practice the sin of fiscal recklessness.
"When President Bush took office, he inherited a projected 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion. He promised that America could afford his economic program of enormous tax cuts, without risking a return to destructive deficits, and expect millions of new jobs in return. Instead, this White House and Republican controlled Congress have delivered 2.3 million lost jobs and record deficits that will damage our economy in the future.
"The Administration and its apologists surely will make excuses for this unprecedented fiscal turnaround. And while it is true that our nation has faced unforeseen challenges, it is precisely the unpredictability of future events that led Democrats to counsel caution rather than urge adoption of the President's risky economic program.
"What is most distressing is that the White House has no real plan to bring the federal budget back to balance. It simply relies on 'fuzzy math' and the disproved theory that economic growth will erase our deficits. We tried that strange brew of economic quackery in the 1980s and it took us 20 years to recover from the deficits it produced.
"It's time for President Bush and the Republicans who control Congress to face economic reality. They need to tell the American people how they plan to pay for their reckless spending and tax cuts instead of just kicking the tough decisions down the road to future generations. The Republicans are spending like there's no tomorrow while Democrats and the American people know that tomorrow, with all its challenges, is just over the horizon.”