December Jobs Report: A Warning To Washington

Robert Borosage

The December Jobs Report is a warning to Washington:  This economy is growing – with 155,000 new jobs and 7.8 percent unemployment. But that’s barely enough to cover the new workers coming in to the workforce.

Now every working American will face an increase in their payroll taxes. Spending at the Federal level will continue to slow. With the winding down of the Recovery Act and the cuts imposed by the last debt ceiling deal, Congress and the President should stop focusing on deficits and start working to create jobs and get Americans back to work.

The deficit is already declining in relation to the economy, faster than any time since the demobilization at the end of WWII. Tax hikes and spending cuts will cost jobs.  If growth slows, the pace of deficit reduction will slow.  If the economy turns back to recession, deficits are likely to rise. The first rule of Congress should be to do no harm.

I urge Congress to repeal the sequester and lift the debt ceiling. Republicans in Congress are threatening to not pay the bills for the money they already spent — creating another default crisis. Republicans in Congress are actually going to the mat for the right to kill our nation’s credit. That won’t lead to new jobs. It will hurt the economy.

We need the President and Democrats to introduce and fight for an ambitious plan to put Americans back to work starting with rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges and to create more jobs by putting money in working families’ pockets.

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