Carper Rejects Bush Budget Compromise

WASHINGTON, DC – The budget compromise pushed by the White House breaks the nation’s promise to improve public education and features a tax cut that is not fiscally responsible, Senator Tom Carper said today. Carper, who voted for the original budget resolution, joined other moderate Democrats from the House and Senate to criticize the current compromise, in part because it does not provide necessary increases in education funding. “The education reforms we are debating on one hand better have the resources to pay for it on the other or we are just making empty promises,” Carper said. “The education bill we are debating calls for reducing class sizes, for training teachers, for implementing standards and accountability. This budget does not provide the money for any of that.” Carper, who cut taxes seven years in a row as Governor, voted for the original budget resolution and its $1.18 trillion tax cut as part of an effort to build bipartisan consensus. Carper said he would not support the budget agreement as it stands, but would favor a smaller tax cut that reduced marginal rates, eliminated the marriage penalty and increased inheritance tax exemptions. “I believe we need to cut taxes, reduce our national debt and make needed investments in areas like education. The budget we passed sought to build consensus. The budget before us now erodes it,” Carper said. “If we had a budget that cut taxes by $1 trillion dollars and made these investments, it would have overwhelming support from the centrists of both parties.” Others joining Senator Carper at the press conference included Congressman Cal Dooley, chairman of the House New Democrat Coalition, and Senators Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Debbie Stabenow, Bill Nelson and Hillary Rodham Clinton.