WASHINGTON – The following is a transcript of the Democrats radio response:
Good Morning. I’m Congressman Dennis Cardoza from California’s Central Valley .
In Congress, I serve as a co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 37 conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives who are committed to fiscal responsibility and reforming the broken budget process in Washington. Our top priority is fixing the gross mismanagement of our nation’s finances.
In 2001, when President Bush was sworn in, the Congressional Budget Office projected surpluses of 5.6 trillion dollars over the next ten years. Needless to say, that reality has not come to pass. Under President Bush, we have run up the biggest deficits in the history of the world.
The reckless fiscal policies of President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress last month pushed America’s debt over the 8 trillion dollar mark. That is over 27 thousand dollars for every man, woman and child in America. Think about that – 27 thousand dollars for every single one of us.
As you know, the Republican Party controls the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives. In his five years in office, President Bush has failed to veto one single spending bill passed through the spendthrift Republican Congress. This is a complete abdication of his responsibility as President.
To make matters worse, over the past five years we have seen an unprecedented increase in the amount of debt that America owes to foreign nations. This President has borrowed more money from abroad than all 42 of his predecessors combined, including billions of dollars from the Central Bank of China.
And he still has more than three years left to go.
Despite this abysmal fiscal record, the Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives continues to push for a budget package that, by all accounts, would increase the national debt by another 20 billion dollars.
The Republican Party has abandoned fiscal conservatism and embraced a budget system with no accountability. Now they are asking Members of Congress to vote on a so-called “Deficit Reduction Act” that actually increases the deficit.
The Blue Dog Coalition has put forward a comprehensive 12-Step Plan that is designed to cure our nation’s addiction to deficit spending.
Our proposal includes common-sense measures such as reinstating Pay-As-You-Go rules.
Every American understands that they need to balance their check book each month. Government shouldn’t be any different. Pay as you go rules require that new spending and tax breaks are fully paid for, so they don't increase the deficit.
In the 1990s, with PAYGO rules on the books, we saw deficits disappear, record surpluses, which produced rapid economic growth. In 2001, the Republican-controlled Congress abandoned PAYGO, and we have been awash in red ink ever since. It’s time for Congress to bring back PAYGO.
In September, I joined my colleagues in the Blue Dog Coalition in writing a letter asking President Bush to host an emergency bipartisan budget summit to put our nation’s fiscal house in order. Unfortunately, our genuine effort to engage Republicans in a reasonable discussion on the budget was brushed aside.
Blue Dogs, and all of our fellow Democrats, stand ready to do the right thing for America. We stand ready to make the tough choices and needed reforms that will put America’s fiscal house back in order.
Now is the time for real reform, not more of the same. America can do better.
I’m Congressman Dennis Cardoza. Thank you for listening, and I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.