Selling Our Economy to The Highest Bidder (Sen. Robert Byrd)

When President Bush entered office in 2001, our State of the Union had a budget surplus and our country was on its way to eliminating much of its public debt. Since that time, the American people have watched as this Administration has not only squandered that surplus but created three of the largest deficits in the history of our nation. President Bush has added more than three and a half trillion dollars to the debt owed by our government to our creditors. And he has done this through massive tax cuts for the very wealthy at the expense of our hard working middle class Americans. And tonight it is reported that he will once again blindly ask the Congress to make those tax cuts permanent.

Before our very eyes, our President is selling off our economy to the highest bidder. This President has presided over an economy that has seen good-paying American jobs shipped overseas. And President Bush and his Administration have sat idly by during most of the past year as the home mortgages of hard working American families have been bought by foreign creditors. Literally, the roofs over the heads of many Americans are owned by foreigners.

It is extraordinary that President Bush -- who continues to squander billions of dollars every week in Iraq -- presumes to lecture Congress on its stewardship of taxpayer dollars. President Bush fails to understand that there are consequences for our failure to invest in America and the American people. The American people want their hard-earned tax dollars to be spent on priorities here at home -- on homeland security, clean water, bridges, and roads -- not on a disastrous nation-building adventure halfway around the world.