Senate Democrats

Democrats Support Middle-Class Tax Relief, Bush Republicans Call for the Same Failed Policies of the Past

This morning, President Bush once again called for making his signature tax cuts permanent. But the record on taxes is clear. Democrats support responsible tax cuts for the middle-class, to help them cope with the high costs of health care, higher education and gas prices. President Bush and his Republican allies continue to call for giveaways to multi-millionaires and special interests which have turned a budget surplus into record deficits and soaring debt and driven our economy to the brink of recession. As American families are struggling to make ends meet amid soaring costs, they need new ideas for how to strengthen our economy, not more of the same failed Bush Republican policies of the past.

Democrats’ budget cuts taxes for America’s families:

Senate Democrats’ Budget Provides AMT Relief for 21 Million Americans. The Senate Budget Resolution prevents more than 21 million Americans from being hit by the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) by providing a one-year extension of AMT relief. [Chairman’s Mark of FY 2009 Budget Resolution, 3/6/08; Vote #85, S Con Res 70, 3/14/08]

 Senate Democrats’ Budget Provides Tax Relief to Make College More Affordable “The Mark assumes Congress will provide tax relief to make a college education more affordable.” [Chairman’s Mark of FY 2009 Budget Resolution, 3/6/08; Vote #85, S Con Res 70, 3/14/08]

Senate Democrats’ Budget Extends Middle-Class Tax Relief, Including Child Tax Credit and Marriage Penalty Relief. The Baucus Amendment to the Budget Resolution extends middle-class tax relief, including the child tax credit, marriage penalty relief, adoption credit and the 10 percent tax bracket. [Senator Baucus Press Release, 3/6/08; Senate Vote #42, S Con Res 70, 3/13/08]  

Failed Bush Republican policies have led to record debt and deficits:

On President Bush’s Watch, Record Surpluses Turned into Record Deficits. President Bush inherited a unified budget surplus of $236 billion, the largest surplus in American history. The Bush Administration took this surplus, and turned it into the three largest deficits in US history, including reaching a record of $413 billion in 2004. [President Bush’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2002, A Blueprint for New Beginnings, 2/28/01; Office of Management and Budget] 

President Bush and the Republican Congress Increased Debt by More Than $3 Trillion. Under President Bush and the Republican Congress, our national debt has risen by more than $3 trillion to about $9 trillion, or roughly $30,000 for every man, woman and child in America. [US Department of the Treasury]  

  • President Bush and the Republican Congress Doubled Foreign-Held Debt. President Bush and the Republican Congress have doubled our foreign debt to more than $2 trillion. It took 42 presidents 224 years to build up the same level of foreign debt. [Senate Budget Committee] 

Failed Bush Republican policies have hurt America’s economy:

American Economy Has Lost 260,000 Jobs Since January. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the American economy lost 260,000 jobs between January and June. []

Food and Fuel Prices Are Skyrocketing While Wages Are Stagnating. “The consumer price index for food rose 5 percent last year, the highest gain in nearly two decades. And gas prices have risen from $3.20 a gallon a year ago to an average of $3.95 Thursday, according to the Oil Price Information Service. ‘There’s no evidence that wages are growing … in terms of keeping up with inflation,’ said James Ziliak, director of the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research.” [Lexington Herald-Leader, 6/1/08]

Home Prices Continue to Fall While Foreclosures Surge. “Home prices fell in 23 U.S. metropolitan areas in March, led by Sacramento and San Diego, as rising foreclosures prolonged the housing recession… Foreclosure filings surged 65 percent and bank seizures more than doubled in April compared with a year earlier as rates on adjustable mortgages increased, according to RealtyTrac Inc. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 14.4 percent in March from a year earlier, the most since the figures were first published in 2001… More than 243,300 properties were in some stage of foreclosure in April, the highest monthly total since RealtyTrac Inc., an Irvine, California-based seller of default data, began in January 2005. One in every 519 households received a filing and Nevada, California and Florida had the highest rates.” [Bloomberg, 2/2/08]

Consumer Confidence Hit Lowest Level Since 1980. “All the problems have pushed consumer confidence to recessionary levels. The Reuters/University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment dropped for a fourth straight month in May, hitting a 28-year low of 59.8, down from a reading of 62.6 in April. The May level was the lowest since June 1980, when Jimmy Carter was in the White House and consumers were being battered by a recession and soaring gasoline prices.” [Associated Press, 5/31/08]

Economist Mark Zandi Said “For the Average American, We Are In a Recession.” “Fast-rising crude oil costs have sparked divided opinions on whether the U.S. economy will sink into a recession, economists said. ‘The economy is still growing. There’s nothing magical about $130 per barrel oil,’ economist Richard DeKaser of National City Corp. told The Christian Science Monitor. But, ‘for the average American, we are in a recession,’ economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s told the paper.” [UPI, 5/27/08]