State of Washington Archives: on Budget & Economy


Paul Ryan: Bishops deny Ryan's "use of Catholic faith" as budget guide

In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Ryan, the author of the House Republican budget endorsed by Mitt Romney, said his program was crafted "using my Catholic faith" as inspiration. But the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was not about to bless that claim.

A week after Ryan's boast, the bishops sent letters to Congress saying that the Ryan budget, passed by the House, "fails to meet" the moral criteria of the Church, namely its view that any budget should help "the least of these" as the Christian Bible requires: the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the jobless. "A just spending bill cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor and vulnerable persons," the bishops wrote. In fact, Ryan would cut spending on the least of these by about $5 trillion over 10 years--from Medicaid, food stamps, welfare and the like.

Ryan didn't turn the other cheek, saying, "The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it.

Source: Dana Milbank in Washington Post, "Faith-based" Apr 27, 2012

Gary Johnson: Cut federal budget by 43% to bring it into balance

I have proposed cutting the federal budget by 43 percent to bring it into balance. It can be done. It requires the will and ability to ignore and even fight the special interests that have a vested interest in more and more government spending. Our system is corrupted by special-interest campaign contributions. Crony capitalism permeates our government. The result is that, as the Congressional Budget Office reported this week, the deficit for 2012 will once again exceed $1 trillion.
Source: Gary Johnson, "America moving again" in The Washington Times Feb 2, 2012

Jim Gilmore: I delivered a balanced budget; no deficit when I ended term

Warner criticized Gilmore for delivering [as Governor] a state budget “full of gimmicks” and accused him of implementing fiscal policy that helped create a $6 billion state shortfall. Gilmore said there was no deficit when he ended his term and that he delivered a balanced budget. He also has noted throughout his campaign that Warner promised not to increase taxes when running for governor but later instituted the largest tax increase in state history.
Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times Sep 19, 2008

Jim Gilmore: More banking oversight, even if it means bigger government

When the debate turned to the crisis on Wall Street, Gilmore and Warner both said they would support an increase in regulation, even if it meant bigger government. “We have to have more oversight,” Gilmore said.

Warner said the problems in banking and the mortgage business were caused by “too many people asleep at the switch in Washington. Everyone was looking at the next quarterly profits, and no one had a long-term plan,” he said.

Source: 2008 VA Senate debate reported in Washington Post Sep 19, 2008

Mark Warner: Gilmore’s budgets “full of gimmicks” created $6B deficit

Warner criticized Gilmore for delivering a state budget [when he succeeded Gilmore as Governor, which Warner] described as “full of gimmicks” and accused him of implementing fiscal policy that helped create a $6 billion state shortfall.

Gilmore said there was no deficit when he ended his term and that he delivered a balanced budget. He also noted that Warner promised not to increase taxes when running for governor but later instituted the largest tax increase in state history.

Source: 2008 VA Senate Debate in The Washington Times Sep 19, 2008

Mark Warner: Banking crisis caused by too many asleep at the switch in DC

When the debate turned to the crisis on Wall Street, Gilmore and Warner both said they would support an increase in regulation, even if it meant bigger government. “We have to have more oversight,” Gilmore said.

Warner said the problems in banking and the mortgage business were caused by “too many people asleep at the switch in Washington. Everyone was looking at the next quarterly profits, and no one had a long-term plan,” he said.

Source: 2008 VA Senate debate reported in Washington Post Sep 19, 2008

John McCain: GovWatch: Specified cuts are $10B, not $100B

McCain said on May 12, “I can eliminate $100 billion of wasteful and earmark spending immediately--$35 billion in big spending bills in the last two years, and another $65 billion that has already been made a permanent part of the budget.”

First of all the suspiciously round $100 billion figure is largely a figment of the McCain campaign’s imagination. Not a single independent budget expert would vouch for it. McCain’s economics adviser says it is an extrapolation from various studies, including a 2006 study by the Congressional Research Service, which identifies a total of $52 billion in earmarks. However, much of this money is tied to items such as foreign aid to countries like Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, that McCain says he will not touch.

Excluding those programs McCain has promised to preserve, the draconian slashing of earmark expenditures might save around $10 billion a year. But that is still a long way from the $100 billion that McCain says that he can identify “immediately.”

Source: GovWatch on 2008: Washington Post analysis May 23, 2008

Paul O`Neill: Bush team not pushing Reaganite supply-side arguments

Instead of pushing Reaganite supply-side arguments, the Bush team is stressing the demand side: It proclaims that reducing taxes will put money in consumers’ pockets and so prime the economic pump. Consider, first, the deafening supply-side silence. Back when Reagan was pushing his first tax plan, his people preached that big cuts in marginal rates would sharpen incentives for workers, and that harder work would in turn boost output.

Now contrast that with Treasury Secy. O’Neill’s performance before the House tax committee last Tuesday. At one point, [he was asked] how much additional economic growth we might anticipate from the president’s tax plan. Far from jumping at this opportunity, O’Neill evaded the question. “I suppose I could give you something for the record,” he replied, but neglected to do so. In his extensive testimony, O’Neill made the supply-side argument about work incentives only in passing, and was even more diffident about the link between those incentives and faster growth.

Source: Sebastian Mallaby, Washington Post, Page A33 Feb 19, 2001

Paul O`Neill: Committed to maintaining strong dollar

Treasury Secretary O’Neill insisted today that the Bush administration is committed to maintaining a strong dollar and rejected speculation that the US might encourage a drop in its value to bolster economic recovery by spurring American exports. O’Neill also sought to reassure his peers [at the G-7 Summit] that he is convinced the US will stage a solid recovery this year and resume its role as the locomotive driving economic growth.

O’Neill was quoted last week saying: “We are not pursuing, as often said, a policy of a strong dollar. In my opinion, a strong dollar is the result of a strong economy.“ The comments, which currency markets viewed as a modification of the Clinton administration’s emphasis on a strong dollar, caused the dollar to plummet in value against the euro until the Treasury Department issued a statement denying a change in policy. O’Neill seemed exasperated at how billions of dollars can churn on currency exchange markets based on a strained interpretation of his words.

Source: William Drozdiak, Washington Post, Page A31 Feb 18, 2001

Al Gore: Prosperity itself is on the ballot; keep “new-economy”

Gore rallied union workers and new-economy voters alike today, warning that the progress of the last eight years could “slip through our hands” if the country adopts the agenda offered by Bush. He argued that the technology-driven growth of the 1990s could be stopped in its tracks by a return to the policies of the 1980s.

Arguing that “prosperity itself is on the ballot,” Gore focused on the new economy and what government should-and should not-do to ensure that the remarkable innovations in the technology sector seen in recent years continue. “We face a big choice. Will we make the right decisions, the responsible decisions, to unlock the full potential of this new Internet economy and make it work for all our people?”

Responding to Bush’s charge that he favors bigger government, Gore said, “government should never be a barrier” to the new economy, and he promised to preside over “a smaller, smarter government that knows when to get out of the way and isn’t a drag on economic growth.”

Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A10 Oct 28, 2000

Al Gore: Voters in key states do not credit Gore for prosperity

Without the famous battle cry “It’s the economy, stupid,” Vice President Gore may lack a crucial weapon he is counting on to boost his presidential bid this fall. Interviews with swing voters in the large, battleground states that are likely to determine the outcome of the presidential race in November revealed that Gore receives little, if any, of the credit for the nation’s unprecedented prosperity. Over the past eight years, the economies of these battleground states--like states throughout the country--have improved dramatically, with unemployment rates falling from more than 7 percent to between 3 percent and 4 percent and millions of new jobs created. What was once called the Rust Belt is now an engine of high-tech growth. That kind of economic climate normally benefits the party in power, and Gore’s recent “Prosperity and Progress” tour was aimed at encouraging voters to give the Clinton-Gore administration much of the credit.
Source: David S. Broder, Dan Balz in Washington Post Jul 23, 2000

Ralph Nader: High gas prices are the fruit of corporate power

Nader joined in Bush’s attack on Gore and the Clinton administration for what he called their lack of a policy to address rising gas prices. The administration has “simply been asleep at the wheel,” Nader said. He charged that the Justice Department’s failure to challenge oil company mergers has allowed the concentration “of the oil industry’s economic power in fewer hands and gives these merged companies greater opportunity to manipulate prices.”
Source: Terry M. Neal & Thomas B. Edsall, Washington Post, p. A04 Jun 29, 2000

Al Gore: Broad solutions to national debt & maintaining prosperity

In the past two days, Gore and Bush have both put down markers on the themes they believe can carry them to the White House. Gore will attempt to capitalize on the public’s contentment over the longest expansion in US history, now in its 112th month.

Gore hopes to strike back by enlarging his ongoing debate with Bush from specific issues to the broader assertion that he is far better equipped than Bush to preserve and extend the unprecedented prosperity Americans now enjoy. [Opening that theme], this week Gore previewed his upcoming “peace and prosperity” tour with a proposal to lock up Medicare surpluses, that would help extend the solvency of Medicare, hasten the elimination of the national debt, and ensure that prosperity continues.

“We’ve had a major national debate about what to do concerning the biggest deficits in our history,” Gore said. “We now have to have a national debate about what to do with the biggest surpluses in our history.”

Source: Dan Balz, Washington Post, p. A1 Jun 9, 2000

George W. Bush: Make budget biennial; reinstate line-item veto; target pork

“If the discord in Washington never seems to end, it’s because the budget process never seems to end,” Bush said. He decried an environment of “too much polling and not enough decision-making.” Bush proposed revamping the federal budget process to shift from an annual to a biennial exercise and to require the president and Congress to agree on spending targets early in the process, to prevent government shutdowns.

Bush also said he would target wasteful spending by restoring a version of the line-item veto and installing a commission to recommend pork-barrel projects for elimination. [Bush proposes] devoting the off-year in the biennial budget process to examining which government programs should be eliminated.

House and Senate members said Bush’s ideas would get a respectful hearing on Capitol Hill, although proposals requiring Congress to relinquish power over the nation’s purse strings likely would encounter resistance.

Source: Dana Milbane, Washington Post, p. A1 Jun 9, 2000

George W. Bush: $46B in new spending on health, education, & defense

George W. Bush may be inventing a different species of politician: a tax-cut-and-spend Republican. So far this week, Bush has proposed new spending that would total about $46 billion over five years, most of it for health care. Yesterday, he recommended a $4.3 billion program, mostly to expand community health services in remote and urban areas. Earlier, he called for $13 billion in new education spending, a defense plan that requires at least $25 billion in new spending--perhaps more. And he’s not through. Aides say Bush will use the coming months to outline more of his domestic policy views and, likely, additional spending for health care and other problems. Democrats say Bush has overestimated the projected surpluses, significantly underestimated the size of his tax cut, and has not factored into his fiscal equation plans to privatize part of the Social Security system and has yet to outline a single significant cut in current spending.
Source: Dan Balz and Terry M. Neal, Washington Post Apr 13, 2000

George W. Bush: Simplify tax code to stimulate economic growth

Bush said he would present a plan for a flatter and simpler tax code. He said the principal goal of his tax plan is to stimulate economic growth and productivity. A second goal is to return government surpluses to taxpayers, once ‘basic needs’ of society have been met.
Source: (Cross-ref to Tax Reform) Dan Balz, The Washington Post Apr 25, 1999

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