Saturday, November 19, 2011

Video: Austerity will sink the economy / Robert Reich / Move On

Friday, Nov 18, 2011 2:49 PM 10:39:55 PST

Austerity will sink the economy

Budget cuts aren't the answer. Here are the four principles that should be guiding the supercommittee

Screen shot 2011-11-18 at 5.47.17 PM
(Credit: Courtesy of Robert Reich)
This originally appeared on Robert Reich's blog.
The biggest question right now on Planet Washington is whether the congressional supercommittee will reach an agreement.
That’s the wrong question. Agreement or not, Washington is on the road to making budget cuts that will slow the economy, increase unemployment and impose additional hardship on millions of Americans.
The real question is how to stop this austerity train wreck, and substitute the following:
FIRST: No cuts before jobs are back – until unemployment is down to 5 percent. Until then, the economy needs a boost, not a cut. Consumers – whose spending is 70 percent of the economy – don’t have the money to boost the economy on their own. Their pay is dropping and they’re losing jobs.
SECOND: Make the boost big enough. 14 million Americans are out of work, and 10 million are working part time who need full-time jobs. The President’s proposed jobs program is a start but it’s tiny relative to what needs to be done. It would create fewer than 2 million jobs. We need a big jobs program – rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, and including a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps.
Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was secretary of labor during the Clinton administration. He is also a blogger and the author of "Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future." More Robert Reich

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