John Snow on Budget & Economy

Treasury Secretary (Pres. Bush Cabinet)

To shrink deficit, restrain spending, donít raise taxes

A couple of key factors must be held in place in order to shrink deficits: One, we must restrain federal spending. Two, we must not raise taxes. The tax cuts have stimulated our economy into recovery, and continued growth is necessary to increase Treasury receipts and therefore reduce the deficit. The Presidentís budget holds all non-security-related federal spending to less than 1% growth. This budget demonstrates the kind of fiscal restraint that I have always promoted as a deficit hawk.
Source: Remarks to the National Association of State Treasurers , Mar 8, 2004

Any deficit at all is too large for my tastes

Our budget deficit is too large - any deficit at all is too large for my tastes. But the federal deficit is manageable, and we will bring it down, quickly. The Presidentís budget plan cuts the deficit in half over five years. which would bring it to a level that is historically low as a percentage of GDP.

Large and unwelcome as they are, the deficits are understandable. They are understandable in the sense that the President inherited a recession and an economy greatly weakened by the excesses of the late 90s. That situation required tax-cut incentives to give oxygen to the American economy through a very difficult period. And by the third quarter, those incentives were beginning to work.

Then the unthinkable happened: September 11, 2001. It took the wind out of the recovery. Despite all of that, all of those incredible shocks, we came through it with only three quarters of negative growth and an economy now on a strong recovery path. It was the mildest and shortest recession on record.

Source: Remarks to the National Association of State Treasurers , Mar 8, 2004

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Page last updated: Dec 15, 2011