Robert Reich, a writer for the Christian Science Monitor, believes that there are four ways the government can restore the economy and raise the unemployment rate. He states that the biggest question right now in Washington is: will congress reach an agreement? According to him, the bigger question is how to stop the train wreck that is Congress and implement the following four things:
#1. Reich believes that there should be no governmental budget cuts until the unemployment rate is back to 5 percent. He writes, “until then, the economy needs a boost, not a cut. Consumers – whose spending is 70 percent of the economy – don’t have the money to boost the economy on their own. Their pay is dropping and they’re losing jobs.”
#2. Make sure that the economy boost is big enough. As Reich states, 14 million are out of work and 10 millions Americans are working only part-time when they would like to be working full-time. He believes that, while Obama’s jobs plan is a start and a step in the right direction, it is only a small step. A lot more needs to be done to help the cause. “[Obama’s plan] would create fewer than 2 million jobs. We need a big jobs program – rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure, and including a WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps.”
#3. Raise the taxes of the super-rich. Like many others, Reich believes that in order to get out of the rut we are currently in, it is only fair that the taxes of the super-rich are raised. He claims that never before has there been such a large gap in income. Right now, the wealth at the top is so high and the taxes are low. He says, “go back to the 70 percent marginal tax we had before 1980. And include more tax brackets at the top. It doesn’t make sense that any income over $375,000 is taxed at the same 35 percent, even if it’s a billion dollars. And tax all sources of income at the same rate, including capital gains.”
#4. Lastly, he claims that military spending and corporate welfare needs to be cut. If there is going to be a cut anywhere in the budget, this is where it should be. He believes that we need to stop being in wars that we don’t need to be a part of-if we did we would save $300 billion a year. “Cut corporate welfare – subsidies and special tax breaks going to big agribusiness, big oil, big pharma, and big insurance – and we save another $100 billion.”
According to Reich, if implemented, these four things could restore our economy and job market and put us back to where we need to be. If the government fails to this, than it will just continue to get worse. Though he makes many bold statements, many American’s are angered by the failure of Congress to come together on anything to benefit the people and many may find that they agree with Reich’s claims.
SOURCE: The Christian Science Monitor
IMAGE: Photo of Robert Reich courtesy of University of California Berkeley