In a sharp rebuke to Democrat naysayers who predicted otherwise, the federal deficit for fiscal year 2006 has been cut in half ­ a milestone originally set by President Bush for 2009 and ridiculed as unrealistic by Democrat leaders from Minority Leader Pelosi (D-CA) to Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). This week's announcement that our plan is three years ahead of schedule is a strong vindication of Republican, pro-growth economic policies, especially given the costs of 9/11, the War on Terror, and recent hurricanes like Katrina.

Republican tax relief has stimulated strong economic growth ­ creating nearly 6.6 million new jobs in the past three years, raising worker paychecks, and fostering 37 consecutive months of job growth and record low unemployment ­ all of which have flooded the federal treasury with greater-than-expected tax revenues. In fact, spending as a part of the total federal budget is now significantly less than it was in 1994, when Bill Clinton and the Democrats held both Houses of Congress ­ 9% today versus 14% in 1994.

When we embarked on our effort in 2004 to cut the deficit in half by 2009, Congressional Democrats greeted it with ridicule. They were wrong when they said it could not be done. But don't take my word for it. Let their words speak for themselves. Below are just a few of their erroneous predictions:


Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

"The Republican budget ... explodes the deficit, fails to create jobs, and fails to invest... for long-term economic growth." (3/20/03)

"[The Republican budget] does not grow the economy to create jobs here at home... this Republican budget is reckless and the consequences are severe. But you be the judge." (3/24/04)

Rep. John Spratt (D-SC), Democrats' Top Budget Committee Leader

"Last year Mr. Bush promised us that he had a plan, a plan that would cut the deficit by half over the next five years [by 2009]. Well, last year, this year, and next year - as you can see here - the budget is clearly not on that path, nowhere near it." (2/7/05)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a senior Senate Democrat

"President Bush claims to be taking our nation down the road toward cutting budget deficits in half, but an examination of his budget demonstrates that when all the costs are included the deficits will grow even larger under his spending plan, burdening our children and their children with huge tax bills to pay down the debt." (2/7/05)