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Wesley Clark on Budget & Economy

NATO General; Democratic Candidate for President


Plan for jobs-invest in security & budget relief to states

When I decided to run, the first proposal I announced was my jobs plan. My strategy devotes $100 billion over 2 years without increasing the deficit: First, Iíll create a $40 billion Homeland Security Fund. Weíll use the fund to take steps to secure the country-and create jobs in the process. Help states in fiscal crisis. Second, Iíll create a $40 billion State and Local Tax Rebate Fund to relieve pressure on state budgets. Finally, Iíll promote incentives for job creation, especially in manufacturing.
Source: Campaign website, Clark04.com Nov 20, 2003

A healthy economy depends on long-term deficit reduction

To create the conditions for sustained growth, short-term stimulus measures must be coupled with long-term deficit reduction. My ďSaving for Americaís FutureĒ plan will save $2.35 trillion over 10 years to invest in priorities and cut the deficit, creating the conditions for long-term growth and prosperity.
Source: Campaign website, Clark04.com Nov 20, 2003

Balance budget by repealing tax cuts to wealthiest Americans

Q: How would you balance the budget?

CLARK: We need to recapture some of the revenues that were given away in tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, those making over $200,000 a year. I gave the plan of recapturing $2.3 trillion. I donít have a date to balance the budget, because I think itís important to use some of that money thatís recaptured to meet Americaís urgent needs in education, health care and Social Security.

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

Home ownership is critical to economy

Q: How would you deal with a potential problem at a place like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

CLARK: We do have to recognize that home ownership is critical in this country and weíre sustaining our economy right now off the refinancing proceeds of the American family. Iíve refinanced my home. Iím sure many other people here have. But we donít want anything to happen to these mortgage agencies, because they are the ones who are helping to facilitate home ownership. So we really do need to investigate this.

The way the process works is that if thereís a sudden rise in interest rates these institutions will be in jeopardy. Itís time to relook again the real meaning of the federal guarantee or whether or not there is a federal guarantee behind them.

As president, Iím going to assure that every American has the right to own a home and will maintain his home ownership no matter what might change and what might problems there might be in these institutions. Weíll fix this.

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

Push deficit reduction, even if unpopular

Q: As president, what would be the least popular, most right thing you would do?

CLARK: Weíre going to focus on deficit reduction. Weíre going to put this economy back on a sound footing so we can not only pay our bills but meet the other needs that we have in education, health care, the environment and Social Security.

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

Short-term deficit ok in recession, but not long-term

Clark said there was nothing wrong with short-term deficit spending during a recession, but criticized the first Bush tax cut for creating a long-term deficit.
Source: Johanna Weiss, Boston Globe, p. A3 Sep 20, 2003

Balance the budget & reduce long-term debt

We need to return to the aims of the 1990ís when we sought to balance our federal budget and reduce the long term public debt.
Source: Campaign website, AmericansForClark.com, ď100 Year VisionĒ Sep 18, 2003

Fiscal responsibility means no long-term deficit

The first thing youíve got to do is, you do have to establish fiscal responsibility in the US government. And that means youíve got to go back and get on a path that makes revenues at some point intersect expenditures. In the long term, you canít be running a long-term deficit. Depending on the particular economic conditions at the time, you may run a short-term deficit for stimulus. But in the long term, you donít want to be bankrupt. You want your receipts to equal your obligations.
Source: CNN, Crossfire Aug 1, 2003

Fostering small business is key to economic growth

[In the long term], we have to have an environment that people can find meaningful, satisfying, and remunerative work. Right now, we are in a jobless recovery. We have to fix it through the creation of jobs and that is primarily done by small business. We have to create the best possible environment for small businesses to get started, businesses that can grow, businesses that use our skilled workforce, our intellectual capital and develop it. Thatís the key to richness as a nation in the future.
Source: WCGU-FM interview on ďSound Off With SashaĒ Jun 27, 2003

Stimulate economy without creating huge deficit

We need to put the right kind of demand stimulus back into the economy. A stimulus thatís efficient in terms of how much it costs us, in terms of the deficit. A stimulus thatís fair in terms of rewarding the people who need it the most, not the wealthy. And a stimulus thatís long term, fiscally responsible in terms of not creating huge deficits that our children have to deal with or that we have to deal with ten years out.
Source: Speech to the New Democratic Network Jun 17, 2003

Bush tax cuts didnít stimulate economy or jobs

[The Bush tax changes] were not efficient in terms of stimulating the kind of demand we need to move the economy back into a recovery mode, a strong recovery and a recovery that provides jobs.
Source: Meet The Press, reported on DraftWesleyClark.com Jun 15, 2003

Other candidates on Budget & Economy: Wesley Clark on other issues:
Incoming Obama Administration:
Pres.Barack Obama
V.P.Joe Biden
State:Hillary Clinton
HHS:Tom Daschle
Staff:Rahm Emanuel
DOC:Judd Gregg
DHS:Janet Napolitano
DOC:Bill Richardson
DoD:Robert Gates
A.G.:Eric Holder
Treas.:Tim Geithner

Former Bush Administration:
Pres.George W. Bush
V.P.Dick Cheney
State:Colin Powell
State:Condi Rice
EPA:Christie Whitman

Former Clinton Administration:
Pres.Bill Clinton
HUD:Andrew Cuomo
V.P.Al Gore
Labor:Robert Reich
A.G.:Janet Reno
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty

Page last updated: Feb 25, 2011