The President today proposed a bold plan to balance the budget by
2005, cut taxes for middle-income Americans, and continue investing in
education and training -- all to raise average living standards.
The President's plan provides a sharp contrast between his
policies and those of the Republicans. The President wants to balance
the budget over a reasonable period of time -- 10 years -- so he can
protect Medicare, and invest in education and training and other
priorities for the American people. Because Republicans balance the
budget more quickly, and also provide a huge tax cut for the wealthy,
they have to slash Medicare and Medicaid and cut education.
The President would balance the budget the right way, by
eliminating wasteful spending, streamlining programs, and ending
unneeded subsidies; taking the first, serious steps toward health care
reform; reforming welfare to reward work; cutting non-defense
discretionary spending that doesn't include the President's
investments by 22 percent in real terms, while leaving room to provide
increases for education, the environment, and anti- crime efforts; and
targeting tax relief to middle-income Americans.
- To help raise living standards of average Americans, the
President's plan will:
- balance the budget, freeing up capital for private investment;
- invest in education and training to give Americans skills to
get high-wage jobs; and
- take the first, serious steps to reform the health care system,
expanding coverage and reducing costs for average Americans.
- By contrast, Republican policies will:
- increase the "education deficit;"
- turn Medicare and Medicaid into second-class health care
- give huge tax breaks to the wealthy.
Republicans would balance the budget the wrong way: To reach
balance in 7 years and provide a huge tax break for the wealthy, they
would slash Medicare and Medicaid and cut deeply in education and
other investments that help raise average living standards.
The President's plan builds upon the policies of his first 2-1/2
years that cut the deficit, created nearly 7 million jobs, controlled
interest rates and inflation, expanded trade to create more high-wage
jobs, and rewarded work by cutting taxes for 15 million families. The
President is also building on his efforts to create a new kind of
government, one that creates opportunity, not bureaucracy, and
provides the tools that average Americans need to build better lives
for themselves and their families.