This week, President Bush will kick off a critical discussion about our country’s future when he unveils his budget proposal. His plan will balance the federal budget within five years – an important goal Republicans and Democrats can accomplish without raising taxes on working Americans.
The key to balancing the budget is keeping our economy strong and promoting fiscal responsibility. With our economy growing at a brisk 3.5 percent rate, job growth is steady and revenues to the federal government are through the roof. A recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) confirmed the tax cuts of 2003 have helped boost federal revenues by 68 percent. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that “U.S. exports are booming, as growth elsewhere accelerates. Exports rose 10% in the quarter and a very robust 9.2% for the year.” And according to a report released by the Department of Labor, the U.S. economy created an average of 187,000 new jobs each month last year.
Thanks to Republican pro-growth policies, local businesses are finding new markets for American goods and services, creating new jobs here at home. In fact, more Americans are working now than at any point in our nation’s history, and that’s good news for families, small businesses, and local communities across the country.
All of this news provides us with a unique and important opportunity – one we cannot afford to allow Washington politicians to squander. We have a choice: we can use the increased revenue that comes from economic growth to balance the budget, keep taxes low and begin to address the long-term fiscal challenge of runaway entitlement spending that threatens our children's future. Or we can blow it by squandering the money on pork, unnecessary new programs, and bigger government.
Pro-growth policies that create jobs and let Americans keep more of their own money, coupled with a real effort to put a lid on federal spending, will shrink the budget deficit and force the tax-and-spenders in Washington to do what every American has to do: live within their means. But many Democrats will argue in favor of tax hikes, most likely on businesses and others who help create new jobs and keep our economy moving.
We’ve already seen evidence of this: On their very first day in power, Democrats voted to make it easier to raise the family tax burden. And as part of their “100 hours” agenda, Democrats voted to impose tax hikes on American energy producers, increasing our dependence on foreign sources of energy.