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Hoeffel Says Specter Support for Bush-Cheney Budgets has Hurt Pennsylvania Communities, Increased Debt

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"Since President Bush took office in January 2001, a projected ten-year surplus of $5.6 trillion has turned into a projected deficit of $2.9 trillion," Hoeffel said. "But instead of investing in public schools, job training, health care, veterans benefits, and all the other investments in our people and quality of life, George Bush and Arlen Specter want to keep giving new tax breaks to millionaires."

"The Bush-Cheney White House and Republican supporters like Arlen Specter have made a short-sighted political calculation that the real cost of their deficit is so theoretical that average Americans won't notice until it's too late. But I've held dozens of economic forums across our state, and I know the cost of those borrow-and-spend, unbalanced budgets aren't theoretical and off somewhere in the future for local communities and taxpayers. They're right now."

"In Washington , Republican leaders refuse to make the tough budget choices," Hoeffel continued. "In fact, Arlen Specter says they shouldn't even try this year and should just defer the hard decisions until after the election. But just getting through the year is no way to run a business or a country. State and local governments don't have the luxury of running up trillion dollar deficits. They have to make tough choices - choices that hurt families and communities because this White House and its supporters like Arlen Specter have turned their backs on our cities, counties and public schools."


"The bottom line is public officials have a responsibility to be straight with taxpayers and to make the tough decisions today, so our children won't be saddled with paying our debts tomorrow," Hoeffel said. "Since Republicans are in charge of both houses of Congress and the White House, you might think they would make good on their ideas about 'making government run more like a business.' Unfortunately, when it comes to the federal budget, it turns out that their 'business model' is Enron and WorldCom."

"Thankfully, there are some Republicans willing to stop this fiscal madness," Hoeffel concluded. "Four real moderate Republican Senators have stood up to this White House, demanding a responsible "pay-as-you-go" standard to any new tax breaks for the wealthy. Arlen Specter wasn't one of them. His politics-as-usual approach isn't working for southwestern Pennsylvania . He hasn't led toward fiscally-responsible budgets that make the investments we need in this region, but I will."

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