When Democrats sang a different tune

Readable Research | By Samantha Cook |

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.)

2001: “The president has sacrificed resources that could have gone to building national education standards with his tax cut. And as a result, the president’s education budget for next year barely keeps pace with inflation, and he’s proposed no real increases after that. So Mr. President, which way is it? Is it President Bush, the education president, or is it President Bush, the tax-cut president? You can’t be both. And you can’t ignore inconsistencies nor can his troops.” Source

2003: “At a time when we are struggling to find funds for homeland defense, public education, health services, and the environment, it is unacceptable to many of us to push through massive, multi-year tax cuts.” Source

“U.S. SENATOR CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY) HOLDS NEWS CONFERENCE,” FDCH Political Transcripts, September 6, 2001.


Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.)

2001: “When we talk about the broader issues, I hear a lot of people saying, ‘Why don’t you pay down the national debt?’…No one has approached me and mentioned tax cuts first.” Source

“The approach being put forward says a very large supply-side tax cut will trickle down. Coupled, in the 1980s, with a very large increase in defense spending and not controlling other spending, what happened? We tripled the national debt, interest rates were at the highest level ever, and employment went down.” Source

“I believe common sense would dictate we pay down the debt, we protect Medicare and Social Security, we give a major tax cut focused on our middle-income families and small businesses and family farmers, and that we can do that and also be able to continue investments to keep the economy going.  This is the approach that worked. It is hard to argue with success. The policies in the 1990s were successful because of the hard work of both the private sector and the public sector to move us out of debt, to balance the budget, and to make investments in education and the economy.” Source

2003: “It is astounding what has happened in a very short time, going from budget surpluses, a boom in the economy in the 1990s, and now, in a very short time, to a turnaround where we are plummeting into debt. We are seeing close to the worst job creation in 58 years. What we are seeing from this record, over and over again, is the plan to give tax breaks for the privileged few will not create jobs. It did not create jobs in the 1980s when it was done. The bill that was passed 2 years ago, in 2001, was the first round of the Bush tax breaks for the privileged few, and it has not created jobs. Now they are saying do it again.” Source

“My question is, Why in the world are we going to do this again? Why in the world would we use the same policies that have not worked?” Source

“Voters fear Bush tax cut plan will hurt poor; Michigan lawmakers find taxpayers want a tax break, but they ask who will pay for the plan?” The Detroit News, April 15, 2001.
“TAXES AND THE ECONOMY,” THOMAS Congressional Record, May 25, 2001.
“TAXES AND THE ECONOMY,” THOMAS Congressional Record, May 25, 2001.
“HELPING THE ECONOMY,” THOMAS Congressional Record, May 13, 2003.
“HELPING THE ECONOMY,” THOMAS Congressional Record, May 13, 2003.


Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) (Member of the House of Representatives in 2001 and 2003)

2001: “There are reports that the president’s budget will seek to make room for his tax bill by cutting in other areas…We should take care to fund our priorities. To do otherwise would be to risk jeopardizing the future health of our children.” Source

“Delegation Reacts to Bush Address,” States News Service, February 27, 2001.


Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) (Member of the House of Representatives in 2001 and 2003)

2003: “I don’t think it’s a good plan, and I don’t think we can afford it at this time…This is basically a debt-tax on our children.” Source

“Raise Your Voices,” Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico), May 13, 2003.


Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.)

2001: “If we don’t have a full debate on the tax cut, then it’s impossible to debate Medicare and prescription drugs.” Source

2003: “I don’t want to tell the people of my home State, and I don’t think others in this body want to either, that the U.S. Congress can figure out a way to come up with billions and billions of dollars to reconstruct Iraq, hundreds of millions of dollars for tax cuts, and simply not come up with the critical dollars needed to keep our kids in school for a full year, to keep older people in health care systems that are a lifeline for them.” Source

“Democrats Tie Drug Benefit Bills to Broader Debate on Tax Cuts,” Congressional Quarterly Weekly, February 16, 2001
“JOBS AND GROWTH TAX RELIEF RECONCILIATION ACT OF 2003,” THOMAS, Congressional Record, May 14, 2003.


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