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Growing Support For An Economic Recovery And Jobs Package

The 111th Congress is ready to hit the ground running to help President Obama pass his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan to create and save 3 million jobs over two years, and reinvest in our future by rebuilding our infrastructure from bridges to broadband, making our health care system more efficient and cost-effective, modernizing our schools for 21st century learning, and investing in a cleaner and more efficient energy future.

Experts from across the political spectrum agree on the urgent need for a robust package:

Robert Reich - former Treasury Secretary: “The economy lost 1.9 million jobs in 2008, and if nothing is done we'll probably lose 2 million or more in 2009. The stimulus plan could conceivably prevent a lot of that from happening… Something needs to be done to stop the erosion in 2009.” [ABC News, 1/5/09]

Janet Yellen - president of the San Francisco Fed: “The current downturn is likely to be far longer and deeper than the ‘garden-variety' recession. If ever, in my professional career, there was a time for active, discretionary fiscal stimulus, it is now.” [Bloomberg, 1/5/09]

Charles Evans - president of the Chicago Fed: A “big stimulus is appropriate.” [Bloomberg, 1/5/09]

Allen Sinai - chief economist at Decision Economics: “The U.S. is in the midst of a long, deep and severe downturn. When we do recover, the engine will be government spending, not home building or the consumer.” [Bloomberg, 1/5/09]

Randell Moore - executive editor of Blue Chip Economic Indicators: “The consensus says we are in the deepest part of the recession now. But the stimulus package and much lower gasoline prices are expected to somewhat restore consumer confidence and personal spending and that will put us on the road back.” [New York Times, 1/3/08]

Martin Feldstein - Harvard University economics professor, former president of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Reagan: Called for fiscal stimulus that is “big, quick and targeted at increasing aggregate activity.” [Reuters, 1/4/09]

Kevin Efrusy - venture capitalist with Accel Partners: “If you invest in technology that makes something more efficient, the fear is that people will be put out of work. But it's just the opposite. When anything becomes cheaper, we consume a lot more of it. The overall economic effect is, you create and expand entire new industries and employment goes up.” [New York Times, 1/4/08]

Mark Zandi - chief economist at Moody's Economy.com: “Most infrastructure spending will create more jobs by year-end 2010 than a tax cut, particularly a temporary tax cut.” [AP, 12/23/08]

John Taylor - Stanford University economics professor, former Bush Administration Treasury Department official and former Member of the Council of Economic Advisors under President George H.W. Bush: “With negative or low economic growth projected well into the future, the economy needs a long-term fix. We need to worry about the next few years, not just the next few months.” [AP, 12/23/08]

John Irons and Ethan Pollack - economists at the Economic Policy Institute: “The economy is undeniably in dire straits and needs help…A package that provides funding for infrastructure, aid to states, and other provisions would begin to reverse our economic course by creating jobs while meeting national priorities.” [12/17/08]

Mark Weisbrot - economist at the Center for Economic Policy Research: “Nobody needs to be told that our economy is going down the tubes at a rate unseen for decades… State and local governments will need at least $100 - $150 billion next year to keep from cutting back on their employment and education and making the recession much worse. We will need increases in food stamps, unemployment insurance, and Medicaid spending for the poor …” [1/2/09]