WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning regarding President Bush's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2008, which was submitted to Congress today:
"I believe it is absolutely imperative that Democrats and Republicans work together to get America's fiscal house in order. We simply cannot ignore the budget deficits and spiraling debt that have been instigated by the Bush Administration's fiscal policies over the last six years and that threaten our national security and future economic prosperity.
"The Bush Administration, in its budget submission for FY08, seems to have finally heeded Democrats' repeated calls to dispense with the gimmickry that characterized every one of its past budgets. Most notably, the Administration has - for the first time - included the costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, it has dropped many of the fees it had disingenuously used to 'pay for' programs.
"However, even under its own calculations, the Administration continues to create deep deficits and debt - estimating national debt will grow by $3 trillion over the next five years to $11.5 trillion in FY12. This is more than double the size of the debt that the President inherited when he took office.
"Furthermore, the Administration only gets the federal budget to balance in FY12 by using the Social Security surplus to mask the true size of the deficit - at a time when the retirements demands of the Baby Boomers on the Social Security and Medicare programs will begin to reach their apex. For example, under the President's budget our nation will actually run a projected deficit of $187 billion in FY12 rather than a surplus of $61 billion, if the Social Security surplus is not used to artificially suppress the true size of the deficit.
"I also am deeply concerned that the Administration continues to insist on nearly $2 trillion in deficit-financed tax cuts over 10 years that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest taxpayers in our nation. The Administration cannot continue to ignore the fact that its tax policies are shortchanging key domestic priorities such as health care, education and the environment, and driving us further into debt.
"In the days ahead, Democrats will continue to fight for a budget that reflects our nation's values and priorities, and helps us restore fiscal discipline. We urge the Administration and Congressional Republicans to join us in this effort by, among other things, supporting pay-as-you-go budget rules that apply to both taxes and spending. As a nation, we must pay for the things we choose to buy, and not immorally force future generations to pay our bills."