Democratic Leaders Demand Bush Explain Economic Forecasts
D.C. -- House Democratic Leaders released a letter sent to President
Bush today in response to the refusal by two Cabinet officers to
support President Bushs prediction that the economy will add
2.6 million jobs this year. The leaders seek a reasoned explanation
of the Bush Administration's economic policies on job creation and
the full text of the letter:
February 19, 2004
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
past week, your Administration has sent conflicting signals to the
American people regarding the sluggish job growth that has plagued
America for the past three years.
Your two top economic advisers, Treasury Secretary Snow and Commerce
Secretary Evans - while traveling earlier this week to promote your
economic plan in two of the states hit hardest by unemployment -
refused to back up the official prediction by the White House that
the economy will add 2.6 million jobs this year.
Press Secretary Scott McClellan dismissed the concerns expressed
by Secretary Snow and Secretary Evans, stating that people
can debate the numbers all they want
Economists do economic
modeling, then make forecasts.
you are debating represent the jobs of American workers. What you
believe to be an intellectual debate among your Cabinet members
has a real impact on the lives of middle-class American families
nationwide. If you no longer believe your economic program will
create 2.6 million additional jobs, Americans would like to know,
how many will it create?
your budget and the White House CEA report make a number of other
assumptions about future economic conditions. For example, you project
that the $521 billion deficit will be cut in half in five years.
That number is in part due to the same economic modeling that created
the 2.6 million new jobs figure. White House economists who did
the economic modeling made a forecast that is somewhat rosier than
forecasts by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and other
recognized economists. If you do not support the jobs prediction
in your economic report, does this mean you also do not support
your previous assertion that your policies will cut the deficit
in half in five years?
have a right to know what they can expect over the next year and
what your plan is for jumpstarting the economy. Given the conflicting
statements of your economic team, we urge you to resolve the differences
of opinion in your Cabinet and present the American people with
a real estimate of the impact of your economic plan and the jobs
it will create. It is difficult for Members of Congress to support
your economic policies when there is no reasoned estimate of their
impact. We are eager for some reassurance that your economic projections
and estimates are based in reality, not political fiction.
failure to support an extension of federal unemployment benefits
for the millions of American workers who have been unable to find
a job in an economy that is failing to produce enough jobs to match
population growth, let alone to make up for the 2.3 million jobs
lost since you have been in office, shows a lack of compassion for
their plight. Your opposition, and that of Congressional Republican
leaders, stands in defiance of bipartisan majority support in the
House for an extension.
We hope that
you will put partisan politics aside and work with us to extend
the temporary federal unemployment benefits program and create the
economic prosperity that every American deserves.
House Democratic Leader
House Democratic Whip
House Democratic Caucus Chair
James E. Clyburn
House Democratic Caucus Vice Chair