“The bottom line is this: We're going through a tough time. But our economy has continued growing, consumers are spending, businesses are investing, exports continue increasing, and American productivity remains strong…we ought to see how this first one [economic stimulus] works. Let it run its course.”
- President Bush [7/15/08]
Despite the lack of urgency displayed by the President in a news conference yesterday, American families and businesses are struggling today with record high prices for everything from gas to food, a growing housing crisis with many losing their homes, and rising unemployment. In fact, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke underscored the economic realities facing consumers in testimony before the House Financial Services Committee: “This is clearly a rough time… Conditions are tough on average families.” [7/16/08]
The New Direction Congress is working to craft a new economic recovery stimulus package to help people make ends meet, help get our economy back on track and to help renew the American Dream.
Experts agree that the time to act on an economic stimulus package to benefit families and businesses is now - not later.
Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Secretary:
“This is a serious situation…We are in much more danger of responding inefficiently than in responding excessively.” [New York Times, 7/16/08]
Alan Blinder, economics professor at Princeton University:
“The period of maximum danger...has now been shifted to the fourth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year… [we need] sensible, timely policies that will have an impact on spending in that time frame.” [Wall Street Journal, 7/16/08]
Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com and key adviser to Sen. John McCain:
“A paper Mr. Zandi prepared this year concluded that, within the first year of enactment, increased infrastructure spending and aid to states generate roughly four times as much economic growth as making the president's tax cuts permanent, cutting corporate taxes or allowing businesses to write off new investments more quickly.
“‘Everyone agrees that we need jobs, and everyone also agrees that infrastructure is one of our most pressing needs,” Mr. Zandi said in an interview last week. ‘If we can combine stimulus with infrastructure, I think that's great.'
Above all, Mr. Zandi said, it was now imperative the government deliver some sort of new stimulus.
“‘The problems plaguing the economy seem entrenched,' he said. ‘The economy could spiral even further down if you don't try to stem that.'” [New York Times, 7/16/08]
Graciela Chichilnisky, economist at Columbia University:
“If we don't have another stimulus package, that means serious hardship for a lot of people…All the large industries will shrink operations and lay people off. A lot of people will lose jobs. This is not a typical downturn.” [New York Times, 7/16/08]