3.5 Million Jobs
September 3, 2010 11:23 AM
As we prepare to celebrate Labor Day, it's a good time to think about how we can put more people to work and revive the flagging economic recovery.
The economic stimulus act passed by Congress last year has created 3.5 million jobs. Our unemployment rate would be 2.5% higher today if it weren't for that $787 billion package. It probably kept us out of a second Great Depression.
What's needed now is a second one. I've been saying that for months, and now it's supported by the former chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, Economics Professor Laura Tyson. You can read Tyson's article from this Sunday's New York Times at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29tyson.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Professor%20Laura%20Tyson&st=cse.
Here in Madison, the University Avenue reconstruction, 14 new hybrid busses, and countless weatherization projects for city buildings, small businesses and the homes of low-income families are happening thanks to the stimulus. The smaller jobs act passed just a couple of weeks ago is delivering $8.4 million to the Madison Metropolitan School District to keep teachers employed.
But the economy is faltering again. It now appears that a double dip recession may be more likely than less. And there is an estimated $2.2 trillion in deferred infrastructure maintenance left to do in America.
So, let's keep putting America to work. After all, tackling all that infrastructure need isn't putting us in debt at all. It's simply catching up on work that would need to be done anyway in the future. We're not putting our children deeper in debt; we're making investments now so they won't have to later on.