Overview by Chairman Spratt
“While the President has endorsed the goal of balancing the budget, under realistic assumptions the budget he released earlier this week remains in deficit every year. The deficit for fiscal 2006 was $248 billion, and deficits will hover in roughly that range over 2007, 2008, and 2009. When the surplus in Social Security is excluded, as it should be, on-budget deficits over those three years will exceed $400 billion.
“The President calls for nearly $2 trillion in tax cuts, so in the name of balancing the budget by 2012, he hits domestic priorities such as health care, education, and the environment. The Bush budget calls for $252 billion in Medicare cost reduction over 10 years without reinvesting those savings in Medicare program improvements, plus $28 billion in net legislated Medicaid cost reductions.Ã‚Â It also requests funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program that will reduce the number of children and adults covered by the program.
“President Bush came to the White House in 2001 with an advantage no president in recent times has enjoyed, a budget in surplus by $236 billion the year before he took office. Within two years, that surplus was gone, and the United States began accumulating a mountain of national debt, adding in all to over $3 trillion. The statutory debt ceiling was last raised by $781 billion to $9.0 trillion in March of 2006.Ã‚Â Because of the President's policies, this hike in the debt ceiling will be sufficient for less than two years, and the debt ceiling will have to be raised again by the end of this year.
“This comprehensive summary and analysis of the President's budget by the House Budget Committee staff provides both an overview of the budget's major components, as well as discussion of each budget function.”