The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jason Rahlan 202.481.8132

Restoring Confidence in the American Economy


President-elect Barack Obama and a new Congress will take office in
less than 70 days amid the greatest financial market and economic
challenges our nation has faced since the Great Depression. The economy
is likely in a recession-one that could be a long and deep. We are
engaged in two wars overseas. Skyrocketing health care costs are
consuming too great a share of our economy and threatening to create an
unsustainable national debt. Our continued heavy reliance on fossil
fuels exposes our economy to volatile oil prices and supply disruptions
as well as the potentially catastrophic costs of climate change in the
coming decades.

Aggressive action is needed to restore economic confidence and
growth. We need action now to stimulate the economy, starting at once
and lasting as long as necessary. Immediate government investments can
put us on a path to recovery while also speeding the arrival of
accessible, affordable health care, an economy powered with clean,
sustainable, and secure sources of energy, and an education system that
prepares our children for good jobs and keeps good jobs in America.
These steps will help the economy through a period of economic weakness
and lay the foundation for shared economic growth in the decades to

These investments in economic stimulus and recovery will contribute
to a higher budget deficit in the short term. But we cannot be penny
wise and pound foolish. Strong economic growth will do far more to put
us on the path of fiscal health than shortchanging needed investments

The serious economic threats facing our economy are more urgent than
this year's budget deficit, but we also need start quickly to restore
financial discipline and the public's confidence in government. Even as
we are spending more in the short term, we must make a serious
commitment to scrub the budget of inefficient and ineffective programs
and tax incentives, make tough choices among competing priorities, and
address the sustainability of Medicare and Social Security-the looming
fiscal challenge in the coming decades-in the context of reform of the
social safety net to provide retirement and health care security.

Our economy has reached these dire straits after years of
mismanagement and neglect. It cannot be rebuilt overnight. We need a
sustained economic agenda that focuses on building the foundation for a
brighter future.

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