350 Economist Speak Out: Jobs Not Austerity

Today in a nation wide conference call over 350 economists came together to tell people we need ‘Economy Needs Growth and Jobs, Not Austerity‘.  These 350 economists are business leaders and scholars from across the country.   They want to alert everyone to the dangers of making massive cuts to the federal budget would push us back into a depression.

As even Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recognizes, it is long term unemployment, not excessive deficits or debt, that is now inflicting the greatest human toll and economic damage. Polls show that voters agree joblessness and a bad economy are much higher priorities than deficits.

Yet too many in Washington are fixated on cutting public spending to balance the budget, not on how to put people back to work and get our economy going. There is no theory of economics that explains how we can deflate our way to recovery. Businesses are not basing investment decisions on how much Congress cuts the debt in 2023. As Great Britain, Ireland, Spain and Greece have shown, inflicting austerity on a weak economy leads to deeper recession, rising unemployment and increasing misery.

How do we rebuild our economy and create jobs? The answer is simple. We must double down on our reinvestment fundings.  Put people back to work by rebuilding our roads, bridges, and schools.  We can make serious investments for our future.

This is exactly how America pulled out of the ‘Great Depression’.  In 1945, our leaders placed a priority on putting people to work, not cutting spending. So government doubled down with public investments like the GI bill, housing, and highways — and widespread collective bargaining and equal opportunity laws made sure the rewards of growth were widely shared. Today, we need the same scale of public investments that made sure the greatest generation and their children enjoyed growth, opportunity, and shared prosperity.

What we need is a plan not party rhetoric.  We need Congress to pass the American Jobs Act take serious action to create jobs.  Budget cuts will only raise our unemployment stifle any growth and recovery that we have seen in the last four years.