Pelosi: President's Budget Is More of the Same Fiscal Irresponsibility and Misplaced Priorities
'Today's budget from the President is just more of the same fiscal irresponsibility and misplaced priorities; it takes our country in the wrong direction.
'The new funding requests for the war in Iraq submitted today give the American people no hope that President Bush has plans to reduce our military involvement in Iraq for the foreseeable future - in fact, just the opposite. If the President's requests are approved, the United States will spend nearly $50 billion more on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the current fiscal year than was spent in fiscal year 2006, and will spend at least an additional $142 billion next fiscal year.
'These huge sums demand the most rigorous congressional scrutiny possible. Democrats will not give the President a blank check on Iraq. Although our troops will get the resources necessary to meet their needs, we cannot afford to mortgage our children's future to the President's misguided policies in Iraq.
'The President's fiscal policies are also misguided. After turning a surplus into mountains of debt, President Bush is trying to claim that he is setting our nation on a track to balanced budgets. Democrats welcome real action on that front, but this budget is nothing but rhetoric. He leaves out major expenses, and the President simply does not balance the budget by 2012, as he claims.
'This budget represents more of the same wrong priorities: placing a higher priority on huge tax cuts for multi-millionaires than on urgent national needs. It cuts Medicare and Medicaid by $300 billion, while failing to reinvest those funds to help cover any of the 47 million uninsured Americans and also not providing SCHIP sufficient funds to reduce the number of uninsured children.
'The President's budget fails to provide a long-term fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax needed to prevent middle-class families from facing serious tax increases. The President also continues to pursue the wrongheaded strategy of attempting to privatize Social Security and cut benefits, and increasing health care costs for veterans - even though Congress and the American people have soundly rejected those efforts.
'Democrats are prepared to work with Republicans to make the tough choices that will return our budgets to fiscal responsibility, but today's budget from the President is simply not the right approach.'