WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding news reports that President Bush has notified federal agencies that “his budget for 2006 may include spending cuts for virtually all agencies in charge of domestic programs, including education, homeland security and others that the president backed in this campaign year” [Washington Post, today].
“It appears President Bush is implementing a ‘cut and run’ strategy of cutting investment in important domestic programs, such as job training, education and veterans programs, and running away from his campaign promises to support them.
“Despite Republicans’ strong protests that their irresponsible policies will not force deep cuts in important domestic programs, the facts and the Administration’s internal memos prove otherwise. The Republican Party has spent us into a $4 trillion debt which threatens the future of Social Security and Medicare, and, as today’s news reports make clear once again, our ability to invest in programs important to Americans.
“The Bush White House is starting to make a habit of ignoring reality and refusing to admit the adverse consequences of its policies. Larry Lindsey was let go after estimating that the war would cost close to $200 billion, which turns out to be right on target. The President told America that we could proceed with his record-breaking tax cuts without fear of overspending, and the result was record-breaking deficits. And the White House has refused to acknowledge that the war in Iraq would cost our country at least another $50 billion in fiscal year 2005.
“After months of denials, and dismissals of entreaties by both Republicans and Democrats to come clean on the cost of the war, the President belatedly asked for only a fraction of the money necessary to continue the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq next year. He has made it clear he prefers to wait until after the November election to tell the American people what the true cost of the war is.
“The American people are growing tired of an Administration that refuses to be straightforward about the consequences of its policies. In contrast, Democrats want to bring fiscal responsibility back to Washington and reestablish our ability to invest adequately in America’s domestic priorities.”