Blue Dogs: President’s Budget Solidifies an Irresponsible Fiscal Legacy of Unrestrained Spending and Unmanageable Debt

Feb 4, 2008
Press Release
Members Reinforce the Need for Continued Commitment to Fiscal Discipline, PAYGO Rules

Today, members of the fiscally conservative Democratic Blue Dog Coalition criticized the President’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget as a clear extension of the Administration’s reckless fiscal policies over the past seven years.  Blue Dog members reinforced the importance of reversing the country’s precarious fiscal course and maintaining a strong commitment to fiscal discipline, including pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules.

The Blue Dogs pointed to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) recent budget and economic outlook, as well as the current state of the economy, in calling on Congress to maintain its commitment to fiscal responsibility and accountability over the coming year.  The CBO’s dismal economic forecast indicates that for 2008 alone the deficit is already $56 billion greater than the final deficit for 2007, a number which does not include the costs of a stimulus package or additional funding for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Taking these likely costs into account, the 2008 deficit could exceed $400 billion.

“By the time President Bush leaves office, he will have added $4 trillion to the national debt, leaving our children and grandchildren to pick up the tab for eight years of irresponsible fiscal policies,” said Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications.  “It is not surprising that this budget continues the President’s legacy of unrestrained spending and unmanageable debt.  As Blue Dogs, we will continue to do everything in our power to restore fiscal discipline to the federal government and reverse the reckless policies of the past.”

“With this budget proposal, it’s clear that the President is unwilling to adjust his policies in response to our deteriorating economic conditions,” said Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy and member of the House Budget Committee.  “We simply can not continue the irresponsible fiscal policies of the last several years, which is why the Blue Dogs will continue to lead the way in restoring fiscal responsibility to our budget process and will work to ensure that Congress acts responsibly, adheres to pay-as-you-go rules, and deals with the long-term fiscal challenges that we face.”

“You’d think the president would have learned by now that the only way to deal with our long-term fiscal problems is to work on a bipartisan basis,” said Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), senior Blue Dog member of the House Budget Committee. “Instead, he has submitted a laundry list of dead-end ideas in a budget that relies on a rosy growth forecast to hide the true economic crisis confronting our nation. Congress must demonstrate the leadership America needs by reaffirming our commitment to PAYGO, which forces us to make the necessary hard choices on taxes and spending. Analysts are projecting that the U.S. Treasury Bond will lose its AAA rating in as little as four years. We can’t afford to ignore these warnings any longer.”

“While the President talks of fiscal responsibility, his actions speak louder than his words, and his final budget is no testament to fiscal discipline; it’s more of the same—more spending, more deficits, and more debt,” said Rep. Allen Boyd (D-FL), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration and member of the House Budget Committee.  “As Blue Dogs, we remain committed to fiscal discipline, and we will continue to act as the fiscal watchdogs, making sure that this Congress adheres to PAYGO and does not contribute to the President’s legacy of spending more than we have.”