The countdown to economic Armageddon continues this week as our political leaders squabble over increasing the debt ceiling. Republicans are still adamant that any increase in the debt ceiling be matched with cuts in spending and without any increases in revenue (taxes). Democrats are agreeable to cutting spending but they want an increase of one dollar in taxes for every three dollars of spending cuts.
Both parties are missing the bigger point.
We cannot pull ourselves out of this recession with spending cuts alone. Nor can we tax our way out. The only way to move this country from its economic malaise is to work our way out. And nobody is talking about that.
The Obama administration deserves credit for halting the erosion of jobs in this country. When the President took office we were hemorrhaging jobs at a rate of 400,000 to 500,000 per month. Since then the job erosion has ceased and we have added over 2,000,000 jobs to the economy. But unemployment is still at 9.2% and real unemployment hovers around 14-15%. That is unacceptable and cannot continue if we are ever going to improve our economic fate.
Republicans defeated the President during the mid-terms by campaigning on jobs, jobs, jobs. Since taking control of the House they have not offered one…not one…job creating piece of legislation. They have been resolute in proposing anti-abortion bills and steadfast in making English our national language. But they have done nothing on the job front.
The only way to get ourselves out of this recession is to work our way out. And we have plenty of opportunities to do just that. We have to re-invest in manufacturing, repair our infrastructure, rebuild our schools and modernize our methods of transporting commerce and people. We need to make our country more energy efficient and independent. Millions of workers will be needed to accomplish these tasks.
The need is great. The workforce is ready willing and able. All we need are leaders with the vision and courage to seize the opportunity to do big things.
Fixing the debt ceiling problem is important. But the bigger problem is the long term future of this country. Whether you raise the debt ceiling or allow the country to default we are still going nowhere unless we set a path for the future; a path that rebuilds our country and puts our people back to work.
Investing in America and the American worker…that is how you fix the economy.
Everybody talks about jobs. It’s time to do something about it.