Presidential Radio Address - 31 March 2007
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. In recent days, the House and Senate each passed emergency war spending bills that undercut our troops in the field. Each of the Democrats' bills would substitute the judgment of politicians in Washington for that of our generals on the ground. Each bill would impose restrictive conditions on our military commanders. Each bill would also set an arbitrary deadline for surrender and withdrawal in Iraq, and I believe that would have disastrous consequences for our safety here at home.
The Democrats loaded up their bills with billions of dollars in domestic spending completely unrelated to the war, including $3.5 million for visitors to tour the Capitol, $6.4 million for the House of Representatives' Salaries and Expenses Account, and $74 million for secure peanut storage. I like peanuts as much as the next guy, but I believe the security of our troops should come before the security of our peanut crop. For all these reasons, that is why I made it clear to the Democrats in Congress, I will veto the bill.
Democrats in the House and the Senate also recently passed their annual budget resolutions. Their budgets would raise your taxes and raise government spending in Washington. And their budgets fail to address the most serious challenge to our Nation's fiscal health: the unsustainable growth in entitlement programs, like Social Security and Medicare.
Overall, the Democrats would raise taxes by a total of nearly $400 billion over the next five years. To put this in perspective, this would be the largest tax increase in our Nation's history, even larger than the tax increase the Democrats passed the last time they controlled Congress.
Let me explain what it will mean for your annual tax bill if the Democrats get their way. If you have children, the Democrats would raise your taxes by $500 for each child. If you're a family of four making $60,000 a year, the Democrats would raise your taxes by more than $1,800. If you're a single mother with two children working to make ends meet, the Democrats would raise your taxes by more than $1,000. If you are a small business owner working to meet a payroll, the Democrats would raise your taxes by almost $4,000. And more than five million low-income Americans who currently pay no income taxes because of our tax relief would once again have to pay. Whether you have a family, work for a living, own a business, or are simply struggling to get by on a low income, the Democrats want to raise your taxes.
The Democrats plan to spend all those extra tax dollars. In the Senate, Democrats have passed a budget that would spend $145 billion more than I have requested over the next five years. In the House, Democrats have passed a budget that would spend even more -- $213 billion above my request.
With their budgets, the Democrats have revealed their true intentions. During the last campaign, Democrats said that under their "pay as you go" approach, they would pay for their new spending. Now we see what they meant by that. The Democrats have chosen a "tax as you go" approach that requires you to cut your spending to pay higher taxes. And Democrats will use these higher taxes to spend more of your money on their special interest projects.
Our Nation cannot afford such reckless taxing and spending. Under my Administration, we have kept your taxes low and restrained government spending in Washington. Now, America's economy is leading the world, with an economic expansion that has produced 42 months of uninterrupted job growth and created more than 7.5 million new jobs. The fastest way to stop this growth in its tracks would be to allow the Democrats in Congress to impose higher taxes on you so they can spend more of your money.
I believe there's a better way to balance our Federal budget. Last month, I sent Congress a plan that would eliminate the Federal deficit in five years, without raising your taxes. In the months ahead, I will work with Republicans and responsible Democrats in Congress to pass a disciplined budget and to stop the Democratic leadership from taking our Nation back to tax-and-spend policies of the past. By setting clear spending priorities and keeping taxes low, we can keep our economy growing, support our troops in the war on terror, and ensure our children and grandchildren inherit a more prosperous and hopeful America.
Thank you for listening.