CONGRESSIONAL BLACK CAUCUS ALTERNATIVE BUDGET FOR FY 2009

March 13, 2008
Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia:  Mr. Chairman, I would like to begin the discussion on the budget with where we are. And I'd like to use charts because a lot of rhetoric goes back and forth.

   This is a statement of where we are right now. You will see the budget deficit year by year was improved in the 8 years of Democratic leadership on the budget and in the last few years has totally collapsed. It has collapsed to the point where we had a surplus projected, a 5- or 10-year surplus of $5.5 trillion, a surplus projected for those 10 years starting in 2001. Those 10 years look like they're going to come in at a $3 trillion deficit. That's an $8.8 trillion deterioration. That's an average of over $800 billion a year deterioration in the budget.

   We didn't create any jobs during this time. This job performance under this administration is the worst since Herbert Hoover. You can say what you want, but that's just the arithmetic fact.

   The Congressional Black Caucus is dealing with this budget responsibly. We, first of all, repeal the tax cuts that put us into the ditch to begin with. You can call that process whatever you want. You can rant and rave, but the fact is we are repealing all of those tax cuts that got us in the ditch, except those tax cuts that primarily affect that portion of your income under $200,000. Under $200,000 those tax cuts are protected. Those tax cuts that primarily affect your income over $200,000, those are the ones that we are repealing. We are able to, with that money, balance the budget and to go into surplus.

   The red is the President's budget, which is significantly worse than the Congressional Black Caucus every year. The Congressional Black Caucus has a lower deficit in the first 3 years and a higher surplus in the next 3 years than either the President's budget or the Democratic budget. We are so responsible, in fact, that we save interest on the national debt. Cumulative compared to the President we save $23 billion in the fifth year alone, $48 billion saved in interest over the 5 years compared to the President's budget.

   We are also able to spend on our priorities. Education, compared to the President's budget, $160 billion more on education, particularly No Child Left Behind; $119 billion more in health care, particularly children's health that the President vetoed. Veterans benefits, $60 billion over the President's budget. We're not charging our veterans fees for the services that they desperately need. And justice programs, prevention programs, afterschool programs, and Second Chance Programs to make our communities safer, almost $35 billion extra.

   This budget is responsible. It invests in our priorities, and it is much more fiscally responsible than the President's budget.