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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today applauded news from the Treasury Department showing the federal government ran a $21 billion budget surplus last month, the best January showing in four years.

“This is proof-positive that balancing fiscal responsibility with decreasing the tax burden on Americans is helping to cut the federal deficit,” said Enzi, who also serves as a member of the Senate Budget Committee. “I commend President Bush for drawing a line in the sand and warning against treating spending limits in the budget as options instead of binding commitments. We need to stay focused on ensuring our grandchildren are not left with a government with trillions of dollars in the red.”

The Treasury Department reported the government spent $209 billion last month, a record amount for January and up 7.9 percent from January 2005. Government tax receipts, however, also set a record for the month of $230 billion, up 13.7 percent from January 2005. The faster growth in receipts than in spending pushed the surplus for the month to $21 billion, more than double the $8.6 billion surplus the government recorded in January 2005. It was the biggest January surplus since $43.7 billion in 2002.

While some continue to fight vigorously to keep more tax dollars in Washington, allowing members of Congress to decide how to spend those funds, Enzi said nothing could be more threatening to achieving budget surpluses in future years.

“In times of an economic upswing it does not make sense to take people's money from their pocket. Money left in the hands of taxpayers rather than tax collectors will fuel the economy in cities and towns across the country – not in the federal city of Washington, D.C.,” said Enzi.

“I will continue to be a strong advocate in the Senate for fiscal responsibility while reducing waste. That’s the best way we have to strengthen and protect programs that will help Americans receive a quality education, ensure long-term competitiveness, and provide affordable, accessible healthcare.”