"The President's Budget Request for Fiscal Year 2004"
Senate and House Democratic Policy Committees Joint Hearing
February 7, 2003
"The Bush administration's budget harks back to the early Reagan budgets of the 1980s with deficits 'as far as the eye could see.' These deficits, driven by defense spending and tax cuts, were later dealt with by 'rosy scenarios' and tax increases."
- Felix Rohatyn, former U.S. Ambassador to France and former
Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation
"While the [President's 'Savings Incentives'] proposal is being touted as a way to increase national saving and to help workers save for their retirement, in fact the proposal may have the opposite effects. This proposal would reduce public saving over time because it increases the deficit, and it is unlikely to generate enough new private saving to offset this decline in public saving. The proposal's incentives for encouraging new savings are weak because they primarily benefit high-income individuals, who are more likely to shift existing savings from taxable accounts to the new tax-preferred vehicles rather than undertake new savings in response to the tax break."
- Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
"The president's 2004 budget would undermine the sustainability of Social Security and Medicare, squandering their surpluses to pay for a large tax cut for the wealthiest Americans, delaying reforms, and moving us further toward a policy that jeopardizes Medicare benefits. It not only fails to meet the needs of a rapidly growing senior population, it compounds the problem by dramatically increasing federal debt over the next several decades."
- Barbara Kennelly, National Committee to Preserve SocialSecurity and Medicare
"Congress should make sure that every senior citizen is covered for the medicine and the health care they need to live. And we shouldn't have to go into an HMO to get it. Seniors have worked hard and made sacrifices for our country-we deserve better than that."
- Lucille Bryson, Washington, DC
"I believe the Bush budget shows mixed-up priorities -- it proposes 1.5 trillion dollars more for tax cuts but only 2.8 billion dollars more for education -- and cutting the funding for these programs obviously leaves many children behind."
- Beverly Ingle, Laredo Middle School, Cherry Creek, CO
"Unfortunately, the Administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2004 fails to address many of our cities' key priorities that affect economic and homeland security. At a time when city budgets are severely pinched by the weak economy and significant local homeland security investments, the President's budget contains no general economic assistance for states and cities."
- Douglas Palmer, Mayor of Trenton, NJ
"President Bush vetoed several specific (and relatively cost-effective) measures proposed by Congress that would have addressed critical national vulnerabilities. As a result, the country remains more vulnerable than it should be today, on the eve of a likely war against Iraq that could inspire more terrorist attacks. In all, we have squandered precious time bought by the disruption of al Qaeda in Operation Enduring Freedom that should have been used to prepare ourselves against the next major strike."
- Michael O'Hanlon, The Brookings Institution
For a full transcript of the hearing click here.
Senator Byron L. Dorgan
Chairman, Democratic Policy Committee
Senator Tom Daschle
Senate Democratic Leader
Representative Nancy Pelosi
House Democratic Leader
Senator Edward Kennedy
Ranking Member, Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee
Senator Paul Sarbanes
Ranking Member, Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee
Senator Kent Conrad
Ranking Member, Senate Budget Committee
Representative John Spratt
Ranking Member, House Budget Committee
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Representative Chris Van Hollen
Felix Rohatyn, former U.S. Ambassador to France and former Chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation
Bruce Bartlett, National Center for Policy Analysis
Barbara Kennelly, National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
Lucille Bryson, Washington, D.C.
Beverly Ingle, Laredo Middle School, Cherry Creek, CO
Douglas Palmer, Mayor of Trenton, NJ
Robert Greenstein, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Michael O'Hanlon, The Brookings Institution
- Leslie Gross-Davis (224-3571)
- Chief Counsel