President Bush says opposition legislators want
to raise taxes on Americans, undermining what he says is his pro-growth economic
policy. Democrats say they want to help boost economic growth by lowering energy
costs. VOA White House Correspondent Scott Stearns has the
President Bush says his record tax cuts have produced
record tax revenues by putting more Americans to work and thereby reducing the
nation's budget deficit. But in his weekly radio address, the president warned
that proposed spending by opposition Democrats threatens his plans to balance
the budget by 2012.
"The Democrats in Congress are trying to take us in a different direction,"
said Mr. Bush. "They've passed a budget that would mean higher taxes for
American families and job creators, ignore the need for entitlement reform, and
pile on hundreds of billions of dollars in new government spending over the next
five years. This tax-and-spend approach puts our economic growth and deficit
reduction at risk."
The president said he will veto excessive spending. The opposition-led House
of Representatives Friday passed a $37 billion budget for the Department of
Homeland Security, exceeding the president's request by more than $2 billion.
If President Bush carries out his threat to veto the measure, it is unlikely
the Democrats would be able to get the two-thirds majority needed to override
the veto, because enough Republicans voted against it to sustain the veto.
But Mr. Bush is not vetoing all spending that is above his budget. He
accepted $17 billion more in the Iraq war funding bill than he requested.
Democrats have added $4 billion to his request for veterans programs, and
Republicans are not likely to support challenging that spending at a time of
In the Democratic radio address, Senator Maria Cantwell called on President
Bush to lobby members of his own party to back an energy bill aimed at reducing
America's dependence on foreign oil and lowering gas prices.
"By improving energy efficiency, our bill can save Americans billions of
dollars every year," she said. "Democrats also plan to eliminate billions of
dollars in tax breaks to big oil interests and invest them instead in clean,
renewable energy. Combined with our goal to produce at least 15 percent of our
energy from alternative sources, we can make huge strides in reducing our
dependence on fossil fuel."
President Bush backs greater investments in alternative fuels and says he
wants to cut U.S. petroleum use 20 percent in the next 10 years. America
currently imports about 60 percent of its oil.