WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) responded today to President Bush’s conversation on the economy during a visit to California, another state that has been hit hard by the President’s lack of a real plan to create jobs. The following is Rep. Hoyer’s statement as prepared for delivery:
“President Bush finished his trip to California today without offering any real answer to the thousands of Californians who simply ask: What are you doing to create jobs? The irony is that today the President’s re-election campaign rolled out an advertisement in which the President says, ‘I know where I want to lead this country.’ Well, Mr. President, please don’t keep us guessing.
“Last October when he was in this state, he promised that his tax cut package would create 215,800 jobs. Yet the state lost 21,100 jobs, and since President Bush took office, the state unemployment rate has risen to 6.2%, a 20% increase. The President’s mismanagement of the federal budget has also impacted the state, resulting in severe funding shortages for the landmark education reform bill ‘No Child Left Behind’, as well as health care, housing, and homeland security programs.
“But during his two days here, in between million-dollar fundraisers and campaign speeches, President Bush could only trot out the same weak rhetoric about the even weaker job market. Once again, he promised that his tax cuts were ‘working’ and would create jobs.
“According to Citizens for Tax Justice, by 2006, 13.4 million California taxpayers - 87% of all state residents - will receive less than $100 in tax cuts as a result of the newest Bush tax cut. However, in that same year, the wealthiest 1% of Californians will receive $58,800 from the Bush tax cuts. Californians want to hear a real plan from the President, not receive more pocket change.
“Californians are often ahead of the country on political and cultural issues, and I certainly don’t think they are behind the country on total skepticism of the President’s economic claims. President Bush will have to have offer proof of effective leadership rather than empty promises and rhetoric to win a vote of confidence from this state.”