The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 27, 2001

President Bush Outlines Budget; Calls for Government to be "Active, but Limited, Engaged, but not Overbearing."

President Bush tonight will ask Congress to join him in supporting a “reasonable and responsible” budget that funds the nation's priorities, pays down an unprecedented amount of debt, establishes a one trillion dollar contingency fund for unexpected needs and provides tax relief for everyone who pays income taxes in America.

Saying, “A budget's impact is counted in dollars, but measured in lives,” President Bush will propose funding for “excellent schools, quality health care, a secure retirement, a cleaner environment, and a stronger defense.”

His budget increases spending for Social Security, Medicare and entitlement programs by $81 billion, and increases discretionary spending by another $26 billion, a four percent increase that means government spending will grow at more than the rate of inflation.

President Bush will also ask Congress to join him in paying down an unprecedented amount of debt, $2 trillion over ten years, and establishing a $1 trillion contingency fund for unexpected needs, additional priorities and contingencies. Once Congress has funded ongoing operations and priorities, paid debt, and set up a contingency fund, he will argue, it has only two choices with the additional surplus. Congress can either spend it, or return it to the people through tax relief.

“Unrestrained government spending is a dangerous road to deficits, so we must take a different path,” the President will argue. “The other choice is to let the American people spend their own money to meet their own needs, to fund their own priorities and pay down their own debts. I hope you'll join me and stand firmly on the side of the people.”

The President will call for quick action on tax relief to help stimulate the economy. He will also argue quick action is important because Congress must begin work on other longer term reforms, including reforms of Social Security and Medicare.


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