JPANet: Create Jobs and Support the Unemployed
President Obama has just completed his federal budget
proposal. Now Congress begins the difficult task of crafting the budget. The
stakes for all Americans could not be higher. With nearly one in five potential
workers either unemployed or working part time when they want full-time hours,
budget must promote job creation.
Depending on its provisions, the federal budget could strengthen
the economy and put people back to work, or it could weaken or even reverse the
gains that have been made over the past year. Congress must make funding job creation its top priority while also
maintaining a strong safety net of programs to support the poor and unemployed.
Some argue we cannot afford to create jobs when the deficit
is so large. Actually, we cannot afford not to. Most of the deficit (over
three-fifths) is due to the economic downturn and related bailouts and stimulus
measures. These expenditures will
disappear when the economy is fully recovered. Only when millions of the
unemployed are back at work, making money, paying taxes, and no longer relying
on safety net programs will the deficit fall to manageable levels, at least in
the short term. In the years ahead the deficit will balloon again, largely
driven by high health costs. Funding job creation will raise employment and
shrink the deficit.
Most of the budget cuts currently being proposed in Congress
do not address the immediate cause of the deficit, the economic downturn, nor
the longer term problem, escalating health costs. Congress must make funding
job creation a budget priority, and this will also reduce the deficit. Moreover, shrinking the deficit when the
economy is fragile risks further layoffs or even another recession.
Act now! Send a letter to the editor of your local
paper: the budget must promote job creation and maintain the critically
important safety net for the poor and unemployed.
Enter your zip code below to connect with your local papers and access a sample letter.