Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) this evening questioned the affordability of President Bush’s tax plan which will consume all of the available projected ten-year budget surplus and jeopardize vital investments that benefit America’s families.
"The Bush tax plan is fiscally irresponsible and will invade the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds. It is predicated on a $5.6 trillion projected surplus over the next ten years – not actual funds in the U.S. Treasury. The projections are heavily dependent on uncertain future forecasts of economic performance. If there is indeed an economic downturn in the years ahead, the real surplus will certainly be less," Pelosi said.
"Of the $5.6 trillion projected surplus, $3 trillion is dedicated to Social Security and Medicare. Additional funds must also be allocated for increased debt service, farm payments, extending expiring tax credits, and emergency defense and non-defense spending. Of the nearly $2 trillion remaining, funding a tax cut must compete with providing a prescription drug benefit for seniors and the modernization of our schools, two of the top priorities of the American people. Do we want to underwrite an unaffordable tax cut at the expense of these and other investments?" Pelosi asked.
"Instead of passing a huge tax cut that we cannot afford, I support a responsible budget plan which pays down the debt, invests in education and health care, and provides targeted tax cuts to working families. Interest payments on the debt alone cost the United States more than $200 billion a year. A lower national debt means lower interest rates, lower mortgage payments, lower car payments, lower credit card payments, and more jobs. We must not make the same mistakes of the 1980s that left our country with a mountain of debt," Pelosi said.