Wesley Clark on Budget & Economy

NATO General; Democratic Candidate for President

Plan for jobs-invest in security & budget relief to states

When I decided to run, the first proposal I announced was my jobs plan. My strategy devotes $100 billion over 2 years without increasing the deficit: First, I'll create a $40 billion Homeland Security Fund. We'll use the fund to take steps to secure the country-and create jobs in the process. Help states in fiscal crisis. Second, I'll create a $40 billion State and Local Tax Rebate Fund to relieve pressure on state budgets. Finally, I'll promote incentives for job creation, especially in manufacturing.
Source: Campaign website, Clark04.com Nov 20, 2003

A healthy economy depends on long-term deficit reduction

To create the conditions for sustained growth, short-term stimulus measures must be coupled with long-term deficit reduction. My "Saving for America's Future" plan will save $2.35 trillion over 10 years to invest in priorities and cut the deficit, creating the conditions for long-term growth and prosperity.
Source: Campaign website, Clark04.com Nov 20, 2003

Balance budget by repealing tax cuts to wealthiest Americans

Q: How would you balance the budget?

CLARK: We need to recapture some of the revenues that were given away in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, those making over $200,000 a year. I gave the plan of recapturing $2.3 trillion. I don't have a date to balance the budget, because I think it's important to use some of that money that's recaptured to meet America's urgent needs in education, health care and Social Security.

Source: Democratic Presidential 2004 Primary Debate in Detroit Oct 27, 2003

Home ownership is critical to economy

Q: How would you deal with a potential problem at a place like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

CLARK: We do have to recognize that home ownership is critical in this country and we're sustaining our economy right now off the refinancing proceeds of the American family. I've refinanced my home. I'm sure many other people here have. But we don't want anything to happen to these mortgage agencies, because they are the ones who are helping to facilitate home ownership. So we really do need to investigate this.

The way the process works is that if there's a sudden rise in interest rates these institutions will be in jeopardy. It's time to relook again the real meaning of the federal guarantee or whether or not there is a federal guarantee behind them.

As president, I'm going to assure that every American has the right to own a home and will maintain his home ownership no matter what might change and what might problems there might be in these institutions. We'll fix this.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Push deficit reduction, even if unpopular

Q: As president, what would be the least popular, most right thing you would do?

CLARK: We're going to focus on deficit reduction. We're going to put this economy back on a sound footing so we can not only pay our bills but meet the other needs that we have in education, health care, the environment and Social Security.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

Short-term deficit ok in recession, but not long-term

Clark said there was nothing wrong with short-term deficit spending during a recession, but criticized the first Bush tax cut for creating a long-term deficit.
Source: Johanna Weiss, Boston Globe, p. A3 Sep 20, 2003

Balance the budget & reduce long-term debt

We need to return to the aims of the 1990's when we sought to balance our federal budget and reduce the long term public debt.
Source: Campaign website, AmericansForClark.com, "100 Year Vision" Sep 18, 2003

Fiscal responsibility means no long-term deficit

The first thing you've got to do is, you do have to establish fiscal responsibility in the US government. And that means you've got to go back and get on a path that makes revenues at some point intersect expenditures. In the long term, you can't be running a long-term deficit. Depending on the particular economic conditions at the time, you may run a short-term deficit for stimulus. But in the long term, you don't want to be bankrupt. You want your receipts to equal your obligations.
Source: CNN, Crossfire Aug 1, 2003

Fostering small business is key to economic growth

[In the long term], we have to have an environment that people can find meaningful, satisfying, and remunerative work. Right now, we are in a jobless recovery. We have to fix it through the creation of jobs and that is primarily done by small business. We have to create the best possible environment for small businesses to get started, businesses that can grow, businesses that use our skilled workforce, our intellectual capital and develop it. That's the key to richness as a nation in the future.
Source: WCGU-FM interview on "Sound Off With Sasha" Jun 27, 2003

Stimulate economy without creating huge deficit

We need to put the right kind of demand stimulus back into the economy. A stimulus that's efficient in terms of how much it costs us, in terms of the deficit. A stimulus that's fair in terms of rewarding the people who need it the most, not the wealthy. And a stimulus that's long term, fiscally responsible in terms of not creating huge deficits that our children have to deal with or that we have to deal with ten years out.
Source: Speech to the New Democratic Network Jun 17, 2003

Bush tax cuts didn't stimulate economy or jobs

[The Bush tax changes] were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need to move the economy back into a recovery mode, a strong recovery and a recovery that provides jobs.
Source: Meet The Press, reported on DraftWesleyClark.com Jun 15, 2003

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Wesley Clark 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
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts