WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to news reports that the budget deficit for fiscal year 2003 is expected to exceed $450 billion dollars according to White House estimates, which is 50 percent higher than the Administration’s forecast 5 months ago and nearly $50 billion more than economists anticipated just last week:
“Wake up America! President Bush and the Republican Party are leading this country in the wrong direction. Everyday, Republicans are charging billions to the nation’s credit card and slipping the bill into your pocket. At the same time, the President and GOP-controlled Congress are cutting back the services that you expect the government to deliver, such as quality public education, road construction, and law enforcement, to fund their tax cut plans. And the end result of these Republican policies? Local and state governments are forced to raise your property taxes, telephone taxes, electricity taxes and cut back on services.
“Make no mistake. There is a direct connection between your child’s school closing early this year, fewer cops patrolling your neighborhood, your property taxes skyrocketing and the choices that Republicans have made for our country.
“The President and the Republican leaders in Congress said that their tax cuts were the best way to fix the economy and turn back the tide of rising red ink. They were wrong – just ask the 3 million unemployed workers who can’t find a job in the still sputtering economy, or ask the Concord Coalition, a respected, grassroots, deficit watchdog group, that yesterday called the first 6 months of this year ‘the most fiscally irresponsible in recent memory.’
“Republican tax plans haven’t produced more jobs or less debt – they have produced more debt and fewer services.
“Democrats offered a plan to jump-start the economy that would not have busted our budget and would have created five times as many jobs as the Republican plan in 2003. We are going to continue to fight against the President’s and Republican Party’s reckless and irresponsible policies and to tell the American people the truth about the poor choices that are being made on their behalf.”