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President Bush: Just Stop It!

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By Rep. Maxine Waters

PART ONE

President Bush must stop strangling our nation by implementing short-sighted, ineffectual programs that benefit his friends and are intended to get him re-elected in 2004.

The country needs real solutions, not strategies that explode the debt, raise interest rates, and will continue to stifle economic growth for years to come.

Much of our nation’s attention has been focused on protection from future terrorist attacks; and certainly, we all want to be made safe from the threat of terrorism, but we cannot be secure as long as the economy remains in distress.

It is unconscionable that the president could unveil an economic stimulus package of which the centerpiece is a tax cut on corporate dividends. The trickle-down theory that this proposal relies on, that the rich will spend their tax cuts and all will benefit, simply does not work.

When President Clinton left office, the federal budget’s surplus was $260 billion. Today, that surplus has turned into a $159 billion deficit—a monumental reversal of nearly $450 billion.

For two years, our economy has been struggling and shows no sign of recovering. Since President Bush took office, 1.7 million Americans have lost their jobs, making Bush’s record the worst on job creation of any president in the past 58 years; the stock market has lost $4.5 trillion in value; the poverty rate has gone up; consumer confidence is at its lowest point in a decade; and the public is reeling from sharp losses in their retirement savings.

Despite all this, the president has not proposed a single meaningful plan to get our country back on track. Instead, it is tax cuts for the rich and forget about the rest.

The president must realize that he cannot have it both ways; he cannot provide billions in tax cuts and spend billions on wars throughout the world. For years, the Republicans have characterized Democrats as the “Tax and Spend Party.” If that is the case, the current Republican Administration might well be described as the “Don’t Tax and Spend Anyway Party.”

It doesn’t take a Yale graduate to understand that you cannot reduce your income while dramatically increasing your expenditures. It does not work, it has never worked and will not work now.

I am pleased that Democrats have come up with an alternative stimulus plan. This is a clear plan that will produce real results. It will stimulate the economy immediately by providing much-needed unemployment compensation for laid off workers.

In addition, it will create jobs by funding homeland security and vital infrastructure repairs. And importantly, it will provide assistance to the states, which are suffering from a cumulative $70 billion deficit.
At the core of the Democratic proposal is relief to middle- and working-class individuals and families struggling to make ends meet.

By providing this relief, we will be spurring all aspects of the economy, resulting in real and continuous economic growth.

The Administration’s economic program does not offer an immediate stimulus and would create only 190,000 jobs this year. That’s less than 20 percent of the jobs that would be created under the Democratic stimulus plan.

The Democratic plan is fair, fast-acting, includes all taxpayers and meets the nation’s economic needs head-on.

The president must stop trying to bamboozle the American people with tax cuts for the rich camouflaged as an economic stimulus package.

The president must stop using a war against Iraq to divert attention away from his Administration’s economic failures. And, he must stop telling us that the war on terrorism is his number one priority while blocking the use of hundreds of millions of dollars needed to make our nation secure.

The president must stop this nonsense! We must demand that the president stop these inconsistencies and recognize that his political antics are not working.

The inconsistencies in the war on terrorism and the president’s proposed war on Iraq will be discussed in part two of “President Bush: Just Stop it!”

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