Spratt Statement on the President’s 2005 Budget

For Immediate Release:

February 2, 2004

Contact:Chuck Fant
202-225-5501

 “Today the President released a budget that deepens the deficits that his policies have helped to create.  These huge deficits are not just an accounting problem. They are a moral problem because our children and grandchildren will be forced to repay the record amounts of debt we are borrowing today.  The Administration has dismissed these deficits as ‘manageable,’ but chronic deficits threaten our economic strength by crowding out private investment, driving up interest rates, and slowing economic growth.

 “This budget heads in the wrong direction for five important reasons.

 “First, despite Administration claims of fiscal responsibility, this budget makes clear that the Bush Administration simply has no plan to eliminate the budget deficits we now face — and, indeed, is pushing headlong toward expanding the size of the deficits.  The $5.6 trillion ten-year surplus projected when the President took office has been replaced by deficits as far as the eye can see.  For 2004, the budget proposes a record deficit of $521 billion — $146 billion more than the 2003 deficit, which was also a historic record.  Deficits for every year are worse than projected a year ago. 

 “Second, in the face of this dramatic fiscal deterioration, the Administration builds its budget around yet another set of tax cuts, reducing revenues by $1 trillion and driving the budget further into the red.  The budget then refuses to acknowledge the true size of the tax cuts’ impact by failing to provide any deficit figures at all after 2009.

 “Third, while proposing huge new tax cuts with one hand, the Administration squeezes funding for the nation’s priorities with the other.  Even holding domestic appropriations below a one percent increase in this year’s budget would make only a small dent in the deficit, but would reduce funding for transportation, environmental protection, small businesses, and other priority services that the American people want and expect.         

 “Fourth, the President has justified his deficit-financed tax cuts on the grounds that they will create jobs. But the economy has lost 2.9 million private-sector jobs over the last three years under Administration policies, in spite of promises every step of the way that these tax cuts would create jobs.

 “Finally, this budget is neither credible nor realistic because it omits so many costly items.  Once Administration initiatives like additional costs for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, Social Security privatization, and space travel to Mars are included, these record deficits in the Bush budget climb even higher.  Although the Administration asserts that this budget is fiscally responsible, the evidence clearly does not support such a claim.  The Administration has no plan to repair the deficit.  Instead, it just proposes still more of the tax cuts that will dig the budget deficit hold deeper.”