Saturday, December 04, 2004

I get periodic updates on important issues from my senator and I thought I would share this one.

Dear Friend:

Last month, the Senate voted to raise the federal debt limit by $800 billion - on top of the $7.4 trillion we already owe. This increase constituted the third large increase in the federal borrowing limit since President Bush took office in 2001. With this new debt limit, the Administration will have added $2.1 trillion to the debt limit in less than 4 years.

What does this mean to the American people? Before the new increase in the debt limit, every man, woman and child in theUnited States had a share of almost $25,000 in national debt. With the new debt increase, that share increased by almost$2,700. More important, however, it means that the American people, in one way or another, must pay back this amount plus interest.

For the baby born today, our national debt is nothing less than a birth tax. “Welcome to the world, and here is your tax bill. You currently owe $25,000 plus interest, and we will be adding to the principal.” This is a sorry legacy for America’s children.

In the 2000 Presidential election, President Bush promisedvoters a fiscally responsible government. He claimed a soundprogram of tax cuts, tax incentives for businesses and individuals, job-creating investment incentives, and acomprehensive and effective approach to reduce unemployment. Instead, this Administration has delivered record red ink and a national debt that our children and grandchildren will struggle to pay off.

But, sadly, there is more. As Congress raised the federal debtlimit by $800 billion, budget experts projected that the new ceiling will most likely need to be raised again in about ayear forcing the federal government to continue borrowing against already strapped federal programs like Social Security.

The lack of fiscal responsibility that we see will be felt by all Americans. I voted against the new debt ceiling, believingthat we must begin to make hard choices once again. We made hard choices during the 1990s when, with hard work and abipartisan effort, we brought the federal budget into balanceand created surpluses.

But, sadly, there is even more. Congress will soon be asked to consider some $70 billion in supplemental appropriations formilitary operations in Iraq, with no way to pay those costs.

I will take a new oath of office in January and, when I do, you can be sure that I will be ready to represent the people ofCalifornia and work for them and for their future. You can besure that I will take that oath seriously.

Later this month, I will be sending you an announcement of a new online survey about priorities for the coming Congress. I will be looking to hear your answers to my survey on the priorities you hold high.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

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