June 29, 2010
A chart back to reality
Deficit peacocks – like our own Republican Senator, Richard Burr – succeeded in killing legislation to extend unemployment insurance, COBRA subsidies, and aid to the states to avoid massive layoffs. Their victory is a loss for workers and working families struggling to cope with layoffs and long-term unemployment inflicted upon them through no fault of their own.
Well here’s a reality check that even phony deficit hawks like Burr cannot ignore. They like to pretend that deficits magically appeared in January 2009. This chart shows the economic and military policies of the Bush Administration and the Republican controlled Congress who authorized them are to blame for the dismal long-term outlook of our federal budget, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities:
The Bush Tax Cuts for the rich are the number one driver of long-term deficits; stimulus spending is but a sliver.
Our emergency is unemployment, not deficits
The number one priority of every elected official should be creating jobs and preventing the collapse of the job market – there are 5 people out of work for every 1 job opening – from undermining economic recovery. Economists agree that the best use of federal dollars in sustaining that recovery is extending unemployment insurance, the only source of income for millions of Americans who even without jobs still need to buy gas and groceries, pay their rent and utility bills. As soon as that money comes in, it’s out the door stimulating the local economy.
The two best solutions to long-term budget deficits are to get people back to work and let Bush’s ill-conceived tax cuts for the super rich expire. The next time you hear someone say President Obama’s reckless spending is bankrupting our country, show them this chart back to reality.