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Economic Crisis: Leaders & Experts Call for Economic Recovery and Job Creation Legislation

America's working families are facing worsening economic conditions. Home foreclosures are up, the number of jobless workers continues to climb, wages for working Americans remain flat, and states are facing a crisis as the need for state services - health care, food stamps, unemployment services - grows.

Around the world, other countries are taking action to address this global economic crisis. Stimulus packages have already been announced in Japan, China, and Germany, and other announcements are expected next week.

The House has passed an economic recovery and job creation package in September--which has been blocked since by President Bush and Senate Republicans.

But the need for action is clear and urgent.  Economists, state and local leaders, and representatives of business, labor and trade groups are all calling for immediate action on the economy:

FROM ECONOMISTS, EXPERTS:

  • More than 80 percent of economists surveyed by the Wall Street Journal favor a stimulus package that would be enacted in the coming months. [Wall Street Journal, 11/13/08]
  • Ben Bernanke, Federal Reserve Chairman, said that weakening economic conditions warrant a “consideration of a fiscal package by the Congress at this juncture.” [Testimony before House Budget Committee, 10/20/08]
  • Martin Feldstein, Economics Professor at Harvard University, Chief Economic Adviser to President Reagan, and President Emeritus of the National Bureau of Economic Research 'The only way to prevent a deepening recession will be a temporary program of increased government spending…' [Washington Post, 10/30/08]
  • Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com:  'To be most economically effective, a fiscal stimulus plan should extend unemployment insurance benefits, expand the food-stamp program, increase aid to state and local governments, and even increase spending on infrastructure…'  [Moody's Economy.com, 10/2008]
  • Peter Morici, University of Maryland School of Business: “A new stimulus package in multiple installments, to limit the depth of the recession, is necessary.” [Baltimore Sun, 11/12/08]
  • Larry Hatheway, chief economist at UBS AG: “In the absence of stimulus from the government, the recession will be both deeper and longer.” [Bloomberg, 11/4/08]
  • Alec Phillips and Andrew Tilton, economists at Goldman Sachs: “A large fiscal stimulus package appears to be required to prevent an even deeper economic slump than the one we are now forecasting.” [Reuters, 11/2/08]
  • Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer Prize-winning author: “Finally, if Congress passes another stimulus package…It has to also include bridges to somewhere -- targeted investments in scientific research, mass transit, domestic clean-tech manufacturing and energy efficiency that will make us a more productive and innovative society, one with more skills, more competitiveness, more productivity and better infrastructure to lead the next great industrial revolution: E.T. -- energy technology.” [New York Times, 10/22/08]


FROM GOVERNORS, MAYORS, LOCAL LEADERS:

  • Gov. Ed Rendell (PA) and Gov. James Douglas (VT) - National Governors Association: “The slowing economy is resulting in growing unemployment, increased demand for state services and significant declines in state revenues. As governors work to reduce budget shortfalls and plan for the coming fiscal year, we call on you to pass an economic recovery package this session that includes additional funding for Medicaid and investments in our nation's infrastructure.” [Letter to Congress, 10/27/08]
  • Gov. Janet Napolitano - AZ: “Congress can stimulate the economy, provide enormous relief to state budgets, and ensure the most vulnerable Americans have a health care safety net to rely on during difficult times - a win-win-win.” [KTAR - 11/13/08]
  • Gov. Jennifer Granholm - MI: “In Michigan we have at least 70 ready-to-go infrastructure projects worth approximately $263 million that could immediately create over 4,000 jobs. The only obstacle stopping these investments … is a lack of federal funding.” [Toledo Blade, 11/9/08]
  • Gov. Chet Culver - IA: “One of the proven ways to create good jobs is by investing in our infrastructure. In Iowa, we have tens of millions of dollars in transportation projects alone that could begin next spring if the funding was available. This would mean an immediate improvement to both our infrastructure and our economy.” [11/12/08]
  • Mayor Kathleen Novak (Northglenn, CO) - President of the National League of Cities:  “Funding for airports, highways, transit, trains, clean water, sewers, school facilities and housing creates jobs and enhances the safety and competitiveness of our nation. As city leaders, we know we've got capital projects that are and have been ready to go but for the resources to move forward. As city leaders, we also know that we've got individuals ready to go to work. With additional funding in a stimulus package, we can make much needed investments in our aging infrastructure, and we can help put our residents back to work.” [NLC, 11/13/08]
  • Mayor Jerry Abramson (Louisville, KY): “We need Washington to step up and help America's metro areas create jobs and economic growth by passing an immediate Main Street stimulus, not a bailout but an investment.” [MSNBC, 11/13/08]
  • Larry Naake, National Association of Counties: “Today, Main Street America is in economic trouble…Counties are very much tied into local economies and are in the position to invest stimulus funds quickly. The stimulus package should include financial assistance, ready-to-go infrastructure and economic development projects, and programs that can quickly provide assistance to families and individuals.” [Letter to Congress, 11/5/08]

FROM TRADE, BUSINESS & LABOR LEADERS:

  • David Raymond, American Council of Engineering Companies: “An infrastructure-based economic stimulus package would spur immediate job creation and economic growth. At the same time, it would help create the critical infrastructure base needed for America to compete in the 21st century--an added benefit that an exclusively tax-based stimulus program can't offer.” [11/13/08]
  • William George, Pennsylvania AFL-CIO: “Immediate investments are also needed to begin growing more jobs and jumpstart the economy by investing more federal dollars to rebuild the nation's aging infrastructure, to provide more federal aid to State and Local governments, and to invest in energy independence and growth. We need the same level of action and support to protect workers and communities as is being provided to banks and financial institutions. We also need to focus on a long term economic strategy for the future” [11/7/08]
  • H. Lee Scott, WalMart: A second stimulus package “is clearly something that is needed with our customers.” [Bloomberg, 11/4/08]
  • Pete Ruane, American Road and Transportation Builders Association: “We have serious infrastructure problems right now that we need to address immediately…We can generate the jobs.” [Bloomberg, 11/5/08]
  • John Engler, National Association of Manufacturers: “We believe the case is strong for the federal government to commit resources to transportation infrastructure projects that are ready to go and will provide meaningful, long-lasting public benefit to the economy.” [10/29/08]