Dick Cheney on Budget & Economy

After 8 years inaction, must act based on rosy forecast

Q: The surplus is not guaranteed, so how will you pay for your programs?

LIEBERMAN: We’re not spending any more than is projected by the experts. In fact, unlike our opponents, we’re setting aside $300 billion in a reserve fund just in case those projections the nonpartisan experts make are not quite right. We understand that balancing the budget, keeping America out of debt is the way to keep interest rates down and the economy growing.

CHENEY: With respect to the surplus, we’ve got to make some kind of forecast. We can’t make 12 month decisions in this business. We’re talking about the kinds of fundamental changes in programs and government that are going to affect people’s lives for the next 25 or 30 years. And one of the difficulties we have is that for the last eight years, we ignored a lot these problems. We haven’t moved aggressively on Social Security. There are important issues out there that need to be resolved, and it’s important for us to get on with that business.

Source: (X-ref Lieberman) Vice-Presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

Give responsible tax relief by returning 5% of surplus

Q: What will you do with the surplus?

A: We take half of the projected surplus and set it aside for Social Security, over $2.4 trillion. We take roughly a fourth of it for other urgent priorities, such as Medicare reform and education, and we take roughly one-fourth of it and return it in the form of a tax cut. The Senate Budget Committee has totaled up all the promises that Vice President Gore has made, and they total $900 billion above the projected surplus. The fact is that the program that we put together we think is very responsible. Over the next 10 years we’ll collect roughly $25 trillion in revenue. We want to take about 5% of that and return that to the American taxpayer. The average American family is paying about 40% in federal, state and local taxes. We think it is appropriate to return to the American people so that they can make choices themselves in how that money ought to be spent, whether they want to spend it on education or on retirement or on paying their bills.

Source: Vice-Presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

Increase domestic energy production without damage to land

Q: What is your energy policy?

CHENEY: We are in trouble because the administration has not addressed these issues. We have the prospects of brownouts in California. We have a potential home heating oil crisis in the Northeast. We’ve got gasoline prices rising. For years, the administration has talked about reducing our dependence on foreign sources of oil, but they haven’t done it. We’ve got the lowest rate of domestic production of oil now in 46 years. Our imports are at an all-time record high. That means we’re more subject to fluctuations in price. We don’t have the refinery capacity. We haven’t built a new refinery in this country for over 10 years. We have a serious, long-term problem of our growing dependence on foreign sources of energy. That will always be the case, but we ought to be able to shift the trend and begin to move it in the right direction. We think we can do it in an environmentally sound manner.

Source: Vice-Presidential debate Oct 5, 2000

In 1980s, US needed limited spending for deficit & Cold War

Defending his votes against social spending, Cheney said he would be able to support more of social spending today, now that the budget deficit has been erased.

Cheney credited Reagan with ending the Cold War, which he said led to the end of deficits. He suggested that Clinton deserves little credit for the good economic times; saying his appointment of Alan Greenspan was his only accomplishment. “I don’t think the economy suddenly turned around when Clinton and Gore arrived in Washington,” he said.

Source: D. Ian Hopper, Associated Press Jul 26, 2000

Budget surplus softens opposition to spending

During his 11 years in Congress, Cheney also voted as a fiscal conservative, supporting legislation to balance the national budget, while opposing spending in most areas outside of defense. Embracing the younger Bush’s campaign theme of “compassionate conservatism,” Cheney said that the nation’s unprecedented budgets surplus gives Republicans “the opportunity I think to go out and do some things that we might have opposed 20 years ago.”
Source:, “Opens campaign in Wyoming” Jul 26, 2000

Supported Balanced Budget Amendment

Source: (X-ref Education) US News & World Report Jul 11, 1999

Investment in defense brings economic growth

Today inflation’s so low we rarely talk about it - some 3%. And our workers are still the most productive in the world. American goods and services are competitive around the globe. The US is now the world’s number one exporter with more than $500 billion in exports expected this year. Our economy depends on the peace and security brought by our investment in defense. That investment was modest, even at its peak, and, I might add, worth every penny.
Source: Speech at Lawrence Technical University Sep 14, 1992

Don’t fund domestic priorities by cutting defense

The defense budget is not a pot of gold. We cannot fix the deficit of fund all of our domestic priorities simply with the response of, take it out of defense. Dismantling our military will not solve our domestic problem, but it will destroy our ability to protect our interest and to shape the direction of world events. To cut defense, we have to do it right, [like] a sweeping restructuring of our armed forces that will reduce defense spending while still preserving the military capabilities we need.
Source: Speech at Lawrence Technical University Sep 14, 1992

Co-sponsored numerous bills for balancing the budget

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes Jan 1, 1986

Supported biennial budgeting for deficit reduction

Source: Thomas Register of Congressional Votes Jan 1, 1986

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Dick Cheney on other issues:
John Ashcroft
Pat Buchanan
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton (D,NY)
Elizabeth Dole
Steve Forbes
Rudy Giuliani (R,NYC)
Al Gore
Alan Keyes
John McCain (R,AZ)
Ralph Nader
Ross Perot
Colin Powell
Jesse Ventura (I,MN)

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