GAO Finds Federal Investments Declining
Today, Congressman George E. Brown released a General Accounting Office report on the steady decline of Federal investments. This report, produced at the request of Mr. Brown and Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), shows that Federal investments have declined as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product from 2.6% in 1981 to 1.9% in 1996. The report also charts the President's budget request leading to further decline in these accounts. According to GAO, Federal investments will be equal to just 1.5% in 2002; the recently announced budget agreement between the President and Republican leaders reduces investments even more.
Upon release of the report, Mr. Brown commented, "GAO confirms what many of us have feared, that the Federal government is investing less and less in the Nation's future. If budgets are about national priorities, the budget agreement has its priorities all screwed up. By cutting physical capital, research and development and education programs to balance the budget we endanger our capacity to build a vibrant economy for the long run. We threaten to leave a legacy to our children of a balanced budget built on a slowing economy with deteriorating infrastructure - some budget, some legacy."
Tomorrow, Mr. Brown will offer a National Investment Budget as an alternative to that of the House leadership. The Investment Budget provides $18 billion more for infrastructure, $27 billion more for civilian R&D, and $2 billion more for education and worker training through 2002. All of this is done while balancing the budget.