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John Kerry on Budget & Economy

Jr Senator (MA), Democratic nominee for President


FactCheck: Kerry has $900B in proposals, but not as taxes

BUSH_CHENEY CLAIM: "Kerry's plan will raise taxes by at least $900 billion his first hundred days."

CNN FACT CHECK:Bush says Kerry will raise taxes to pay for "new government spending." The Kerry campaign says the figure is "completely false." Kerry has not said he would raise taxes to that degree to pay for his proposals. The $900 billion figure is the Bush campaign's estimate of how much taxes would have to be raised in order to pay for Kerry's spending proposals. Kerry's health plan was estimated to cost between $653 billion and $895 billion. Kerry says he would cut the $500 billion federal deficit in half by 2009. Kerry initially had offered few details about how he would pay for all his proposals, other than repealing the Bush tax cuts for those making more than $200,000 a year. Now, he has added that he would repeal the Bush administration's capital gains and dividend tax cuts and reinstate the estate tax, which Kerry's campaign said would generate about $860 billion in revenue.

Source: CNN FactCheck on statements by Bush and Kerry: Oct 29, 2004

FactCheck: Bush spent $236B surplus, not $5.6T surplus

Kerry claimed Bush "has taken a $5.6 trillion surplus and turned it into deficits as far as the eye can see." But the country never actually had a $5.6 trillion surplus. The projected surplus Kerry was referring to was a 10-year figure that was already made dubious by a weakening economy and a pent-up Congressional urge to spend. The largest annual surplus actually realized was $236 billion in fiscal year 2000, which ended a month before Bush was elected.
Source: Analysis of Third Bush-Kerry debate (FactCheck.org) Oct 14, 2004

Restore pay-as-you-go for fiscal discipline

Q: You pledged that you would not raise taxes on those making less than $200,000 a year. How can you keep that pledge without running this country deeper into debt?

KERRY: I'll tell you exactly how I can do it: by reinstating what Pres. Bush took away, which is called "pay as you go." During the 1990s, we had pay-as-you-go rules. If you were going to pass something in the Congress, you had to show where you are going to pay for it and how. Pres. Bush is the only president in history to [rescind pay-as-you-go]. I'm going to reverse that. We're going to restore the fiscal discipline we had in the 1990s.

BUSH: I'll tell you what PAYGO means, when you're a senator from Massachusetts, PAYGO means: You pay, and he goes ahead and spends. He's proposed $2.2 trillion of new spending, and yet the so-called tax on the rich raises $800 billion by his account. There is a tax gap. And guess who usually ends up filling the tax gap? The middle class.

Source: Third Bush-Kerry Debate, in Tempe Arizona Oct 13, 2004

Shown exactly how to pay for every plan I've laid out

Every plan that I have laid out - my health care plan, my plan for education, my plan for kids to be able to get better college loans - I've shown exactly how I'm going to pay for those. We pass, hopefully, the McCain-Kerry Commission, which identified some $60 billion that we can get. We shut the loophole, which has American workers actually subsidizing the loss of their own job. They just passed an expansion of that loophole in the last few days, $43 billion of giveaways including favors to the oil and gas industry and to people importing ceiling fans from China. I'm going to stand up and fight for the American workers and I'm going to do it in a way that's fiscally sound. I show how I pay for the health care, how we pay for education. I have a manufacturing jobs credit, we pay for it by shutting that loophole overseas. We raise the student loans. I pay for it by changing the relationship with the banks. This president has never once vetoed one bill. First president in 100 years not to do that.
Source: Third Bush-Kerry Debate, in Tempe Arizona Oct 13, 2004

Restore pay-as-you-go rule that Bush broke

KERRY: I'm going to restore what we did in the 1990s: pay as you go. We're going to do it like you do it. The president broke the pay-as-you-go rule.

BUSH: He's just not credible when he talks about being fiscally conservative. If you look at his record in the Senate, he voted to break the spending caps over 200 times. And of course he's going to raise your taxes. You see, he's proposed $2.2 trillion of new spending. He says he's going to raise the taxes on the rich-that raises $800 billion. Now, either he's going to break all these wonderful promises he's told you about or he's going to raise taxes. And I suspect, given his record, he's going to raise taxes.

KERRY: In 1985, I was one of the first Democrats to move to balance the budget. I vote for the balanced budget in '93 and '97. We did it. And I was there.

BUSH: Yes, he's got a record. You can run, but you can't hide. He voted 98 times to raise taxes. It's just not credible to say he's going to keep taxes down and balance budgets.

Source: Second Bush-Kerry debate, St. Louis, MO Oct 8, 2004

Bush has driven up the biggest deficits in US history

We paid down the debt of our nation for two years in a row and we created 23 million new jobs at the same time. And it's Bush's fiscal policies that have driven up the biggest deficits in American history. He's added more debt to the debt of the US in four years than all the way from George Washington to Ronald Reagan put together. Go figure.
Source: Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

Bush's $2.2T figures are put together by a biased group

BUSH: Kerry's proposed $2.2 trillion of new spending. How are you going to pay for it? He said well, he's going to raise the taxes on the rich. That's what he said. The top two brackets. That raises, he says, $800 billion. We say $600 billion. We've got battling green eyeshades. Somewhere in between those numbers. And so there's a difference - what he's promised and what he can raise. The way to grow this economy is to keep taxes low, is have an energy plan, is to have litigation reform.

KERRY: The figures of $2.2 trillion just aren't accurate. Those are the fuzzy math figures put together by some group that works for the campaign. Number two, John McCain and I have a proposal jointly for a commission that closes corporate giveaway loopholes. We got $40 billion going to Bermuda. We got all kinds of giveaways. We ought to be shutting those down.

Source: [Xref Bush] Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

Incentives to create jobs at home and end corporate welfare

    We value an America where the middle class is not being squeezed, but doing better.
  1. We want new incentives to revitalize manufacturing.
  2. Investment in technology & innovation that will create the good-paying jobs of the future.
  3. Close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping our jobs overseas. Instead, we will reward companies that create and keep good paying jobs where they belong-in the good old USA.
We value an America that exports products, not jobs-American workers should never have to subsidize the loss of their own job. Next, we will trade and compete in the world. But our plan calls for a fair playing field-because if you give the American worker a fair playing field, there's nobody in the world the American worker can't compete against. We're going to return to fiscal responsibility because it is the foundation of our economic strength. Our plan will cut the deficit in half in four years by ending tax giveaways that are nothing more than corporate welfare.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

We can do better on economy--lift people out of poverty

We're told that outsourcing jobs is good for America. And they say that anyone who thinks otherwise is a pessimist. There is nothing more pessimistic than saying America can't do better. We can do better and we will. We're the optimists. For us, this is a country of the future. We're the can do people. Let's not forget what we did in the 1990s. We balanced the budget. We paid down the debt. We created 23 million new jobs. We lifted millions out of poverty and the standard of living for the middle class.
Source: Acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention Jul 29, 2004

Kerry pledges 10 million new jobs & to slow outsourcing

Kerry pledged to create 10 million new jobs in four years. Kerry's proposal includes tax reform and credits to encourage job creation in the United States, an education and job training program, as well as a plan to "restore fiscal discipline and confidence in the American economy." Kerry also called for sweeping changes in international tax law to give incentives to companies that create jobs in the United States.
Source: CNN.com Mar 26, 2004

Economy is recovering for corporations to some degree

Q: Do you agree that the economy is recovering?

A: It's a recovery for the people in the corporate boardroom. It's a recovery for corporations, to some degree, by compacting, by increasing productivity. But if you go across America, it's not a recovery This recovery is a recovery for those people who have stock. It's a recovery for those people who are able to walk away with the highest salaries. But workers have only seen a three-cents-an-hour increase in their wages.

Source: Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum Jan 11, 2004

Will follow Clinton's plan to halve deficit in four years

Q: Your plan to balance the budget?

KERRY: I'm going to do what Clinton did. I'm going to cut the deficit in half in the first four years. Clinton's plan was to balance the budget in 10 years, not the five Governor Dean says. The reason we decided not to do it in five was because it required extraordinary cuts in the things we just talked about doing investing in the city of Detroit, investing in our schools, investing in health care, making our economy move.

Source: Democratic Presidential 2004 Primary Debate in Detroit Oct 27, 2003

Base policy on broad growth and progressive taxation

The Bush administration has violated, indeed sometimes even waged war on, all of these foundations of American economic policy.
Source: A Call to Service, by John Kerry, p. 67-8 Oct 1, 2003

Bush policy kept economy afloat in recession-keep some of it

GEPHARDT [to Kerry]: [Maintaining any part of the Bush tax plan] is the wrong policy, and let me tell you why. This plan has failed. The president's economic plan has failed. And we should not keep half of a failure or a quarter of a failure. If it's failed, let's change the policy. Let's do something else. We'll go back to the Clinton tax code. I led the fight in 1993 to put those changes in place; it worked. And my plan will give more money to the average family than the Bush tax cuts.

KERRY: Going back to the Clinton tax cuts, doesn't create another job, it puts a burden on current predicament of middle-class Americans. They lose their current revenue. What's kept America's economy moving in the last two and a half years has been consumer spending. If all of a sudden, when we're trying to recover, we sucked a whole lot of money out of those consumers, we are not going to be able to keep the economy moving. It's the wrong policy.

Source: Debate at Pace University in Lower Manhattan Sep 25, 2003

No excuse for special tax cuts for the rich

Q: How will you balance the budget?

A: The first thing we have to do is to roll back the Bush tax cut for the wealthiest Americans. Fiscally responsible tax cuts for working families can grow the economy, but there is no excuse for special tax cuts for the rich. Then we can create jobs and invest in our people. With the right economic plan, we can turn our economy around, invest in people and reduce deficits all at the same time.

Source: MoveOn.org interview Jun 17, 2003

An economic record I'm proud to run on

We have the lowest unemployment rate in years. Record low interest rates. We have a combined misery index the lowest it's been in 27 years. More business owned by women at any time in the American history. More homeownership at any time in American history. That's the record I'm proud to run on.
Source: KERRY/WELD: HOME STRETCH, PBS.org Oct 25, 1996

Voted NO on prioritizing national debt reduction below tax cuts.

Vote to table [kill] an amendment that would increase the amount of the budget that would be used to reduce the national debt by $75 billion over 5 year. The debt reduction would be offset by reducing the tax cut in the budget framework from $150 billion
Bill S Con Res 101 ; vote number 2000-55 on Apr 5, 2000

Voted NO on 1998 GOP budget.

Approval of the 1998 GOP Budget which would cut spending and taxes.
Status: CR Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Reference: H. Con. Res. 84 as amended; Bill H. Con. Res. 84 ; vote number 1997-92 on May 23, 1997

Voted NO on Balanced-budget constitutional amendment.

Approval of the balanced-budget constitutional amendment.
Status: Joint Resolution Defeated Y)66; N)34
Reference: S. J. Res. 1; Bill S. J. Res. 1 ; vote number 1997-24 on Mar 4, 1997

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: John Kerry on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
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Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
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Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts