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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning after the Office of Management and Budget released its annual mid-session budget review, and the Bush Administration celebrated a projected budget deficit of $296 billion in Fiscal Year 2006 (which ends September 30):
“For an Administration that is struggling to maintain its credibility both at home and abroad, today’s concocted ‘victory lap’ on the federal budget deficit is not only the height of absurdity but also politically transparent.
“At $296 billion, the projected budget deficit for Fiscal 2006 would constitute the fourth largest deficit in American history – and even this estimate grossly understates the real size of the budget deficit. The truth is, the real size of the deficit is masked by the fact that the Administration and Congressional Republicans are spending every single penny of the Social Security surplus, an estimated $180 billion this year. Thus, even if OMB’s estimate today is correct, the real budget deficit is $180 billion higher – or some $476 billion.
“Furthermore, the President’s claim that this reduction in the estimated budget deficit – an estimate that the Administration itself purposely inflated – somehow vindicates his economic policies is belied by the facts. The increase in revenues to the Treasury is largely attributable to record corporate profits, not a roaring economy that is benefitting American taxpayers who are facing exploding gas prices, skyrocketing health care costs and rising college tuition costs. Moreover, even Republican economists admit that such an increase in revenues is temporary and that the long-term budget outlook remains bleak.
“All the public relations spin in the world cannot alter the facts: In just 66 months, the Bush Administration and Congressional Republicans turned a projected 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion into a projected deficit of $4 trillion by enacting unaffordable tax cuts at a time of war and by shunning pay-as-you-go budget rules.
“The American people will not be fooled by spin. This is the most fiscally irresponsible Administration in American history, and its fiscal legacy will be one of exploding deficits and dangerous debt. Today is not a day for this Administration to celebrate. Today is a day for the President to recognize that his economic policies are failing our nation and our people, and to commit to working with Democrats to restore order to our fiscal house.”