Green Not Satisfied with Presidents Proposals
January 21, 2004
Washington, DC - Congressman Gene Green (D-Houston) has issued the following statement in response to President Bushs State of the Union Address:
I support the Administrations efforts to rebuild Iraq. It is imperative that this nation have a strong national security policy that protects the interests and safety of Americans here and abroad, and especially those of our servicemen and women. Protecting our young men and women serving our country of utmost important. Unfortunately, the Presidents war plan may have failed to adequately protect our troops. Details may have been overlooked with the lack of Kevlar inserts and the need for heavier armor for Humvees.
The President delivered an eloquent speech tonight, yet I have serious concerns that he does not take seriously the plight of the unemployed American worker. Since President Bush took office, the economy has lost 2.3 million jobs. Manufacturing jobs have been cut for the 40th straight month. If you consider how long it takes laid-off workers to get new jobs, Americans are experiencing the worst job market in 20 years. It is clear his economic policies are not working.
It is true that the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7% in December, but that rate was achieved because 300,000 American workers gave up searching for jobs and dropped out of the workforce entirely. This also doesnt take into account the Americans who are employed in part-time jobs but cannot find full-time work. These are not the signs of a true job recovery.
The Administrations fiscal policies are also leading this country down a dangerous path. President Bush claims that he is concerned about the annual federal deficit, which in fiscal year 2003 was $374 billion. But his plan to cut the deficit in half within five years through spending restraint and economic growth will not solve this countrys fiscal problems. Since President Bush took office 2.3 million jobs have been lost permanently, and our national debt has ballooned to over $ 7 trillion dollars.
The country simply cannot sustain recently-reported levels of economic growth when government entitlements are rapidly growing and revenue is shrinking dramatically due to the Administrations tax cuts. Under current policies, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that the country will accumulate deficits of $1.4 trillion between 2004 and 2013. To make matters worse, this is the same time at which baby boomers will begin retiring, forcing mandatory spending on government entitlements like Social Security and Medicare.
Instead of paying our own bills now, the Administration seems satisfied with leaving them for our children to pay down the road. Shockingly, at the same time, it refuses to make our childrens education enough of a priority. The children in the nations public school classrooms represent the future of this country. Yet, it has become all too clear that the Administration and the Republican Congress have failed to put their money where their mouths are on No Child Left Behind.
The Administration has also failed to adequately fund critical Head Start programs, which are currently unable to serve all eligible children. If Head Start were fully funded this year, almost 11,000 more children in the 29th District could be served by the program.