Jobs and Growth, Not Austerity

Roger Hickey

In addressing the deficit today, President Obama opened his remarks with the crucial truth: “at a time when our economy’s still recovering from the great recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan that I talked about during the campaign.” And he declared: “we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.”

Yesterday the Campaign for America’s Future joined with 28 other groups to publish an ad in the Washington Post that declared “The best way to reduce the deficit is to put people back to work and get our economy going again.” And we urged the President and Congress to “keep the election results in mind and resist budget cuts that slow our economy and hurt families.”  And today we joined 146 national organizations in calling on the President and Congress to prioritize job creation, oppose benefit cuts to social insurance programs, protect the safety net and require corporations and wealthy individuals to pay their fair share.

We are pleased that the President is insisting on letting the Bush tax cuts expire for people making over $250,000 per year, and that in his statement he did not suggest unacceptable cuts.

In CAF’s poll by Stan Greenberg, we found that Americans who voted for the President reject cuts for the wealthy – and they strongly oppose cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security benefits.

Therefore we will work with our allies to make sure economic policy focuses on Jobs and Growth, Not Austerity – and on Wednesday of next week we will release a policy statement signed by 350 economists with that title.

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