Economists, Labor Leaders: Economy Needs Subsantial, Strategic, Sustained $900B or More Boost Over Two Years

For Immediate Release

Campaign for America s Future
Contact: 

Toby Chaudhuri or Rachel Perrone, (202) 587-1639

Economists, Labor Leaders: Economy Needs Subsantial, Strategic, Sustained $900B or More Boost Over Two Years

Experts Outline Details for a Bold Economic Recovery Package to Help Turn Around Longest Downturn since Great Depression

WASHINGTON - The economy needs at least a $900 billion boost over the next two years, according to a detailed economic recovery plan
released today by more than a hundred economists and dozens of labor
and public interest leaders who represent more than 20 million
Americans.

With
payrolls plunging, retail sales dropping and manufacturing contracting,
the Institute for America's Future today released a statement signed by
127 economists, 27 major labor leaders and 59 public interest
organizations, outlining a "substantial, strategic, and sustained"
program for economic recovery. The statement, released on a conference
call with reporters today, calls for a floor of $450 billion a year for
the next two years. Given the severity of the recent financial crisis,
they argue that $450 billion a year over two years should be considered
the "floor" of any plan.

The
plan stresses that investments be made in areas vital to the economy -
in energy efficiency and renewable energy, in modernizing our
collapsing infrastructure and in expanding pre-kindergarten and college
affordability. It urges aid to states and localities to avoid
devastating layoffs, and assistance to the low wage workers most
impacted by the downturn.

Institute for America's Future co-director Robert Borosage said
these investments should be made as soon as possible and not only
continue for two years, but be sustained with needed investments
afterwards.

"Congress
must know by now that the time for delay, for half-measures, for
one-off rebates is over. We need a substantial, strategic and sustained
plan to get this economy going," said Borosage. "President
Obama has the moment, the mandate, and the majority to drive
fundamental reform over this next period. It is vital that citizen
leaders not sit by passively, but help define the course and clear the
way." 

University of Texas professor and economist James Galbraith
joined Borosage on today's call. Galbraith said these investments will
have a greater return on investment in generating jobs and growth than
tax cuts, and should be the centerpiece of a strategic recovery plan.

"Economic
recovery in an existential crisis like this means actually building a
new economy," said Galbraith. "For that, we need investment-to restore
our roads, rails, transit, broadband, and water systems, to build parks
and museums and libraries, to protect the environment."

United Steelworkers president and AFL-CIO executive council chair Leo Gerard also
joined Borosage on today's call. Gerard said signers of today's
statement will mobilize a major educational effort to encourage
Congress to act rapidly to create a plan ready for President-elect
Barack Obama to sign on day one, noting that "substantial action to get
the real economy going is long overdue."

**For a copy and summary of today's economic statement and a complete list of signers, please visit
http://ourfuture.org/mainstreetrecovery .*

 

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