Spratt Statement on the President’s Economic Plan

For Immediate Release:

April 15, 2003

Contact:Chuck Fant
225-5501

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) issued the following statement on President Bush’s scheduled comments today in the Rose Garden to promote his tax-cut plan.

“The President’s remarks today come at a time when the deterioration of both the economy and the budget is prompting growing concern about his domestic policies — even among some Republicans. Just last week, Republicans in both the House and the Senate voted to reduce the President’s new tax cuts. Congressional Republicans are in disarray and disagreement about the size of a tax cut. But most have begun to recognize that cutting taxes by an additional $1.6 trillion when the budget already is in substantial deficit causes either still bigger deficits or harmful cuts to services.

“It is discouraging that the President continues to pursue flawed economic policies that have already failed. In both 2001 and 2002, the Administration pushed large, back-loaded, multi-year tax cuts, claiming that they would create jobs. However since President Bush took office, the number of private-sector jobs has fallen by 2.6 million. Meanwhile, the budget deficit this year will likely exceed $400 billion, and the President’s own budget shows that large deficits will persist even if the economy resumes strong growth.

“It is increasingly clear that the sudden re-emergence of chronic, large budget deficits is weighing down the economy. Neither families nor businesses are likely to make major financial commitments as long as they believe that the federal government’s borrowing will be out of control for the foreseeable future. In light of this, the President’s insistence on more huge, debt-financed tax cuts in the face of big deficits is disappointing.

“Democrats three months ago offered a balanced and prudent economic stimulus plan. It boosts the economy now with immediate tax cuts for individuals and businesses, extended unemployment benefits, and aid to fiscally pressed state governments. The Democratic plan focuses resources on the economy now when it needs it without adding to subsequent years’ deficits. Mainstream economic models predict that the Democrats’ plan produces about twice the number of new jobs as the President’s. Unfortunately, the Republicans have rejected the Democrats’ plan, and economic conditions have continued to deteriorate.”