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

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 15, 2007

Setting the Record Straight: President Bush Holds the Line on Irresponsible Spending

     Fact sheet In Focus: Economy
     Fact sheet Setting the Record Straight

The Washington Post Absurdly Argues Fight To Keep Spending Low Will Add To Deficit

"Stopping irresponsible spending increases doesn't add to the deficit – it cuts the deficit. And stopping irresponsible tax increases is good for taxpayers, good for the economy, and prevents more uncontrolled spending in the future. We are on the path to a balanced budget, and that's where we intend to stay."

– White House Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto, 12/15/07

The Washington Post incoherently asserts that " Bush's steadfast stand against Democratic spending, coupled with his equally resolute opposition to tax increases, could raise the federal debt this fiscal year ." (Jonathan Weisman, "Bush's Budget Wins May Cost Him," The Washington Post , 12/15/07 )

Stopping Irresponsible Spending Increases Does Not Add To The Deficit – In Fact, The President's Focus On Fiscal Responsibility Has Helped Decrease The Budget Deficit By $250 Billion In The Last Three Years

The President's FY08 budget shows that by restraining spending we can balance the budget by 2012 while keeping taxes low for families and small businesses. Congressional Democrats' budget calls for a massive spending spree, financed by even bigger tax increases.

The President has made clear he will veto bills that exceed his reasonable and responsible levels for discretionary spending this year.

Federal tax receipts for the most recent fiscal year set an all-time record. Now is not the time to raise taxes on the American people. Tax receipts as a percentage of the economy are 18.8 percent, which is higher than all but six of the past 25 years and above the average of the past 40 years.

The Washington Post also inaccurately states that if Congress passes an Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) patch that does not raise taxes, "the cost to the Treasury would swamp the savings from Bush's spending fight."

A One-Year AMT Patch Should Not Be Offset With Tax Increases

The President's FY08 budget assumes Congress will do what it has done for several years – pass a one-year patch. This will prevent more than 20 million taxpayers from seeing an unexpected tax increase when they file taxes next year. The Administration has advocated fundamental tax reform that would include fixing the AMT.

The Administration does not believe the appropriate way to protect taxpayers from 2007 AMT liability is to impose a tax increase on other taxpayers. Since 2001, Congress has periodically "patched" exemption levels and credit rules to keep the number of AMT taxpayers roughly constant at about 4 million. Congressional Democrats' plan to impose a tax increase this year to "pay for" revenue that was never going to be collected is just a backdoor way to raise taxes on the American people.

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