Robert Reich: So the best of all worlds is to have a big jobs plan now, and also commit to automatic cuts triggered when unemployment falls to 5 percent.
Joseph Palermo: President Obama’s much anticipated speech outlining his jobs agenda for the 2012 election year will sound a lot like a tiny mouse trying to make a loud roar. Instead of clarity, we’ll get hedging; instead of “bold,” we’ll get wishy-washy.
Robert Reich: A bold jobs plan is also good politics. With more than 25 million Americans looking for full-time jobs, the wages of people with jobs falling, and an economy on the verge of a double dip, the President has to come out fighting on the side of average people.
Robert Reich: The only way out of the vicious economic cycle is for government to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy — spending more in the short term in order to make up for the shortfall in consumer demand.
Robert Reich: The Republican lie that the nation’s long-term budget deficit is responsible for high unemployment would be laughable if it weren’t so tragically irrelevant to the current situation.
Robert Reich: The requirement that everyone purchase health insurance, or pay a fine doesn’t appeal to many Americans. They don’t like the government telling them they have to buy something. But the healthcare system can’t work without this mandate. Only if everyone buys insurance can insurers afford to cover people with preexisting conditions, or pay the costs of catastrophic diseases.
Robert Reich: Not only do we need extended unemployment benefits. We need a new WPA, modeled after the WPA of the Great Depression, to put jobless Americans to work. We need a national infrastructure bank to rebuild our crumbling highways and water and sewer systems, thereby putting additional people back to work.
Joseph Palermo: After a decade of stagnant or declining real wages, “bipartisan” schemes are proliferating to shift the burden of Washington policymakers’ own catastrophic mismanagement of the nation’s fiscal policies right onto the shoulders of working people.
Robert Reich: If there was ever a time for bold government action it is precisely now. Obama should be storming the country, demanding the largest responses to the jobs emergency in history. He and the Dems should be giving Republicans hell for their indifference to all this.
Robert Reich: Democrats should propose eliminating payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income, and making up the revenue loss by applying payroll taxes to incomes above $250,000.
Robert Reich: We need a response proportional to the crisis. Obama, Pelosi, and Reed should summon Congress back to Washington for action on the jobs emergency.
Robert Reich: An extraordinary number of Americans are still hurting. It’s more important than ever for the US government to step in with a larger stimulus that puts more people to work and tax cuts for people who will spend them
Robert Reich: Both Greenspan and Rubin are deficit hawks. So was Herbert Hoover and so was Hoover’s Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. And look what Hoover and Mellon got us into. When we least need him, Hoover is being exhumed.