January 26,2000

Roth Statement on New Federal Budget Numbers

We Can Do It All - Tax Cuts for American Families, Protect Social Security, Help Seniors with a Medicare Drug Benefit, and Pay Off the Public Debt

WASHINGTON -- The Congressional Budget Office today released new Federal budget numbers showing the projected total budget surpluses will range between $3.1 and $4.2 trillion over the next 10 years (2001-2010). Depending on assumptions about Federal discretionary spending, the "on budget" or non-Social Security surplus will range between $838 billion to $1.9 trillion over the ten years. Under all scenarios, CBO estimates a $2.3 trillion Social Security trust fund surplus.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman William V. Roth, Jr. (R-DE) released the following statement:

"Today's budget projections present us with an unprecedented opportunity to address some of America's biggest challenges and to reduce the tax bill that continues to burden American families and businesses. With wise policies and bipartisan cooperation we can do it all - provide tax relief for American families, protect Social Security, help our seniors with the creation of a Medicare drug benefit, and cut the public debt by two-thirds.

"While we do all this, Social Security surpluses can remain untouched. By keeping this firewall around Social Security, the public debt will drop by almost two-thirds over the next ten years which will significantly reduce the Federal government's interest payments thereby improving both the budget and the economy.

"The remaining surplus -- between $838 billion and $1.9 trillion -- will allow us to address some challenges facing the country as well as reduce taxes. We should provide significant tax relief to help Americans educate their children, prepare for retirement, buy health insurance, and care for their families. Last year's heated claims by tax cut opponents that any significant tax cuts would be 'risky' or fiscally unwise are now shown to be false.

"The American people deserve tax cuts and I will work to get them tax cuts. We must also devote the budget surplus to helping our seniors with their most pressing needs. I will continue to vigorously pursue a Medicare prescription drug benefit as part of my effort to preserve and protect Medicare for the long-term."