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Bob Graham on Budget & Economy

FL Sr Senator (retiring 2004); Democratic Primary Candidate for President


"Opportunity For All" program is critical to economy

I am the candidate who has the most comprehensive economic plan, Opportunity For All, which lays out the pillars of creating new jobs in America: balancing the budget; making our tax program more fair and progressive; third, investing in America by rebuilding America. If we can afford to rebuild the bridges, the roads, the schools and electric system of Iraq, we can afford to invest in rebuilding America.
Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Rescind parts of Bush tax cuts for the people

Q: How will you balance the budget?

A: Fiscal responsibility starts by rescinding those parts of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest which have not gone into effect. We need those resources to protect and ensure that Social Security and Medicare will be sustainable for our future generations. We need those resources to invest in health care reform, provide affordable housing, after-school programs, job training and so many other investments that will help America's economy prosper in the long-term.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

Fiscal discipline avoids our grandchildren paying our bills

We need to return to the days of fiscal discipline, as we did under the administration of Bill Clinton. When he left office, we had a $5 trillion surplus. Barely two years later, we've got a $2 trillion deficit, a $7 trillion turn in the finances of America. And do you know who's going to pay those bills? It's going to be our grandchildren, because we're going to give them a credit card that will be listed as overdrawn for our excessive behavior.
Source: Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Irresponsible to cut $1.2 trillion from budget now

DEAN [to Graham]: I got into this race because I wanted a balanced budget, and I wanted to have a party that stood up to President Bush, because I think that's the only way we can beat him. You and Senator Hollings and I have something in common. We all are former governors, we've all balanced budgets. Fritz Hollings had an amendment a couple of weeks ago that would have zeroed out the president's tax cuts. You voted for that amendment. Senators Edwards, Kerry, and Lieberman [instead] voted for an amendment that would add $350 billion of additional tax cuts. Why'd you make that choice?

GRAHAM: I made that choice because I think it's reckless and irresponsible at a time of rising deficits, at a time that we're at war with uncertain cost of completing war and then completing the occupation and renewal of Iraq to be talking about cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. And that was what Senator Hollings's amendment eliminated.

Source: [X-ref from Dean] Democratic Debate in Columbia SC May 3, 2003

Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion
Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-55 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted YES on 1998 GOP budget.

Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes.
Status: CR Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: H. Con. Res. 84 as amended; Bill H. Con. Res. 84 ; vote number 1997-92 on May 23, 1997

Voted YES on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment.

Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Status: Joint Resolution Defeated Y)66; N)34
Reference: S. J. Res. 1; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 1997-24 on Mar 4, 1997

Balance debt reduction, tax relief, & policy investment.

Graham signed the Senate New Democrat Coalition letter to Pres.-Elect Bush:

Dear President-Elect Bush,

Members of the Senate New Democrat Coalition and the House New Democrat Coalition are interested in working with you to develop a responsible fiscal policy. We are proud of our records of fiscal discipline that have helped to produce the unprecedented surpluses for our country. We believe that continuing to use part of the surplus to pay down our national debt is a moral obligation that we owe to future generations. As New Democrats, we believe that a delicate balance can be struck between maintaining fiscal discipline, paying down our national debt, responding to the publicís understandable desire for common-sense tax relief and making important investments in our future. We are convinced that your stated goal of providing an excessive tax cut will lead to less debt reduction. This in turn would lead to higher interest rates resulting in lower capital investment and productivity growth and ultimately a lower standard of living for all Americans. We are ready, however, to work with you on a smaller package of tax cuts designed specifically to stimulate our slowing economy in the short run while protecting Social Security and Medicare. In the longer term we are eager to work with you on a policy that encourages individual savings and investment, invests in college education tax credits, promotes research and development and bridges the technology gap that exists in our country today.

Source: Senate New Democrat Coalition letter to Pres.-Elect Bush 01-SNDC2 on Jan 11, 2001

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Bob Graham on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts