U.S. VP Cheney says deficits do count

Jan. 24, 2004 at 6:49 PM

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- Vice President Dick Cheney said Saturday, despite reports to the contrary, the Bush administration believes budget deficits do matter.

Answering questions after a speech to government and business leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Cheney said that "deficits do matter, they matter in the long term; you do have to worry about them," according to a transcript of his remarks provided United Press International by the White House.

But Cheney said he did not agree with a critic in a new book, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill, that the full range of tax cuts should not have been passed in order to bolster federal revenues. This fiscal year's budget deficit is expected to be above $500 billion. O'Neill said the White House felt that President Reagan proved deficits did not matter.

"If you look at our deficit today," Cheney said, "while it's large, it's not that large from a historic standpoint as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product)."

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