News Release

The Economy: Nine Months Before Election Day * Budget * Job Training * The Deficit

CHRIS HARTMAN, [via Christina Kasica]
Research director for United for a Fair Economy, Hartman said today: “Tax cuts by the current administration have shifted the tax burden to the middle class and widened the wealth gap into a chasm…. The annual deficit is of historic proportions, over half a trillion for this year alone. With its tax cuts for the wealthy, the administration is engineering a fiscal train wreck that will damage the economy and limit the ability of the government to provide important services for years to come.”
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MIRIAM PEMBERTON
Pemberton is the peace and security editor for Foreign Policy In Focus. She said today: “This year’s budget request for the military plans to fund, nearly intact, the entire menu of Cold War weapons systems, with new systems simply added on top. Coming later will be more spending on ‘congressional add-ons’ — read: pork — and on the wars we are actually fighting.”
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ZEYNEP TUFEKCI
Tufekci, author of a recent piece in the Washington Post titled “They Can Point and Click, But Still End Up Painting Walls,” has studied programs like those proposed by Bush with the ‘Jobs for the 21st Century Initiative.’ An adjunct professor at the University of Texas at Austin, she said today: “While Bush — and many Democrats — tout high-tech training programs as a path to good jobs, many people who attend these programs remain either unemployed or employed at low-wage jobs. Often they are being trained for jobs that don’t exist; there simply aren’t enough good jobs out there…. The problem can’t be solved simply by training individual workers; the structure of the job market must be addressed.”

JULIANNE MALVEAUX
Malveaux is an economist and columnist
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GENE SPERLING
Sperling is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, which has just calculated a budget item called Non-Security Discretionary spending (arrived at by taking total domestic discretionary spending and subtracting out military, international and homeland security, and 9/11-related spending). Sperling said today: “Our calculations show that discretionary spending on things like education and job training has remained virtually unchanged and therefore cannot be blamed for the deficit. The overwhelming problem is the administration’s explosive tax cuts…. A recent report by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office projects that revenues will continue to deteriorate in 2004 to 15.8 percent of GDP, the lowest level since 1950….”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167