Senate Democrats

Reid: Bush Economic Policies Have Weakened The Middle Class

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today in response to President Bush’s remarks today on the economy:

“President Bush’s claim that ‘we’ve had a pretty good economic run here in the country’ is detached from the reality of most middle-class Americans.  Big Oil and Halliburton may have had a good run, but the middle class is facing declining wages and rising prices for everything from health care to gas to college tuition.  Meanwhile, a housing foreclosure crisis threatens millions of families, record surpluses have turned into record deficits, and the national debt grows by $1 million every minute.

“Unfortunately, President Bush’s policies have only made matters worse.  It’s long past time to restore fiscal discipline, stop spending billions on another country’s civil war and focus on needs here at home.”  


President’s Priorities Blow Budget, Add Billions to National Debt


President Bush’s Priorities Will Add $239 Billion to the National Debt. “But as he stood his ground, first against $22 billion in additional domestic spending, then against $11 billion, Bush steadfastly opposed Democratic efforts to raise taxes to recoup the cost of a $50 billion measure that would stave off the growth of the alternative minimum tax (AMT)… The president also has taken to the White House’s bully pulpit week after week to demand nearly $200 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, without tax increases or spending cuts. If the president prevails on all three fronts, he will end up adding about $239 billion to the federal deficit this fiscal year.” [Washington Post, 12/15/07]

  • National Debt Is Increasing at $1 Million Per Minute – Costing Every American $30,000. “Like a ticking time bomb, the national debt is an explosion waiting to happen. It’s expanding by about $1.4 billion a day — or nearly $1 million a minute. What’s that mean to you? It means almost $30,000 in debt for each man, woman, child and infant in the United States.” [Associated Press, 12/3/07]
  • National Debt Will Almost Double on President Bush’s Watch. “The national debt — the total accumulation of annual budget deficits — is up from $5.7 trillion when President Bush took office in January 2001 and it will top $10 trillion sometime right before or right after he leaves in January 2009.” [Associated Press, 12/3/07]

Former Republican Aide Said Bush’s Claims of Fiscal Responsibility Do Not Pass “the Sensible Man’s Test.” “‘I have difficulty seeing how $11 billion or $22 billion in discretionary spending on the domestic side of the equation is so fiscally irresponsible when juxtaposed against these major AMT provisions of $50 billion, or certainly against the $70-plus billion they want for the global war on terror, Iraq and Afghanistan,’ said G. William Hoagland, a Republican budget adviser to former Senate majority leader Bill Frist (Tenn.). ‘It doesn’t pass the sensible man’s test.’” [Washington Post, 12/15/07]


Including His Request for Iraq and Afghanistan, Military Spending Will Increase 11 Percent, Dwarfing Domestic Spending. “Details of the estimated $516 billion measure were released last night in anticipation of House floor debate as early as today… The domestic funding numbers are dwarfed by growth in military spending, driven by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The challenge for the White House has been to hold the line at home, even as the president pursues ever larger sums for operations overseas. The core Pentagon budget for 2008 — already signed by the president — is $459.3 billion, a $37.7 billion, or 9%, increase over 2007 funding levels. Emergency defense spending for Iraq and Afghanistan is slated to grow by another $25 billion to about $190 billion, meaning that total military spending in 2008 could exceed $649 billion, an 11% increase over 2007.” [Wall Street Journal, 12/17/07]