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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding President Bush’s visit to the Bureau of the Public Debt in Parkersburg, West Virginia, where the President spoke about Social Security:
“It is unbelievably ironic that the President chose the Bureau of the Public Debt as a backdrop for his ill-advised campaign to drum up support for the Republican proposal to privatize Social Security.
“This President, after all, took office promising that he would ‘pay off $2 trillion of debt over the next decade,’ and almost simultaneously began pushing policies that have added more than $2.3 trillion to our national debt over the last four years.
“The fact is, our national debt is exploding under this Republican Administration and Congress. They increased the debt limit by $450 billion in 2002, $984 billion in 2003, $800 billion last year – and are expected to seek another debt limit increase this fall.
“And now the President is pushing a proposal to create private accounts within Social Security that will add nearly $5 trillion in debt over the next 20 years, that will force our nation to borrow those funds from foreign nations, and that will do nothing to ensure Social Security’s long-term solvency.
“The American people, in their collective wisdom, understand that this nation must arrest its exploding debt, not add to it. It’s no wonder that a large majority of Americans are opposed to private accounts within Social Security and disapprove of the President’s handling of this issue.
“It’s long past time that the President and Republicans in Congress acknowledge that Social Security privatization is a non-starter with the American people. Their continuing sales pitch for private account is only delaying real bipartisan discussions on how best to shore up Social Security for future generations.”