I am writing on behalf of People For the American Way’s (PFAW) 300,000 nationwide members to urge you to vote against final passage of the Budget Resolution before even seeing President Bush’s budget for fiscal 2002, and if the Budget Resolution includes the Bush Administration’s 10-year tax cut proposal, which will cost well over $2 trillion.
PFAW opposes this tax cut proposal – or any tax cut proposal -- that would likely absorb most or all of the available budget surplus over the next 10 years. This tax cut proposal is irresponsible not only because it risks budget deficits, but because the majority of the tax cuts would only benefit the wealthiest Americans. Furthermore, the tax cut proposal would make it difficult to invest a portion of the surplus in the unmet critical needs of American families, including Social Security, Medicare, and public education.
PFAW believes it is critical to maintain the federal role in initiatives to improve student achievement, teacher quality, and school safety, to raise standards and performance in low-performing schools and to provide aid to disadvantaged students. Accordingly, PFAW is concerned about the effect this tax proposal would have on needed investments in public education., such as funding to truly improve elementary and secondary public education or to provide greater financial aid programs that put college within reach of millions of America’s students.
Finally, the Bush Administration’s $2 trillion plus tax cut proposal is fiscally irresponsible because it is based on a surplus that seems increasingly unlikely to materialize. Even now, the size of the projected surplus is in dispute. While the Congressional Budget Office and Office of Management and Budget project a $3 trillion non-Social Security surplus over 10 years, the bipartisan Concord Coalition, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and others estimate the amount of the surplus realistically available for tax or spending initiatives to be less than $2.2 trillion. Until these numbers are clear and a determination is made as to how to invest in quality public education and secure the long-term solvency of Social Security and Medicare, the Senate should not pass a Budget Resolution that includes enactment of this massive and irresponsible tax cut.
If you would like to discuss this or any other issue important to PFAW, please contact me or Stephenie Foster, Director of Public Policy, at 202-467-4999.
Ralph G. Neas