President Obama spoke about our economic future, claiming that we have all the answers to our problems, but because of Republicans’ lack of interest in doing anything to help the economy, things are at a stalemate.
Right now, we’re still fighting our way back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The economy is growing again, but it’s not growing fast enough. Our businesses have created 4.3 million new jobs over the last 27 months, but we’re not creating them fast enough. And we’re facing some pretty serious headwinds – from the effects of the recent spike in gas prices, to the financial crisis in Europe.
But here’s the thing. We have the answers to these problems. We have plenty of big ideas and technical solutions from both sides of the aisle. That’s not what’s holding us back. What’s holding us back is a stalemate in Washington.
Last September, I sent Congress a jobs bill full of the kinds of bipartisan ideas that could have put over a million Americans back to work and helped bolster our economy against outside shocks. I sent them a plan that would have reduced our deficit by $4 trillion in a balanced way that pays for the investments we need by cutting unnecessary spending and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more in taxes.
Since then, Congress has passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that’s allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week. But on most of the ideas that would create jobs and grow our economy, Republicans in Congress haven’t lifted a finger. They’d rather wait until after the election in November. Just this past week, one of them said, “Why not wait for the reinforcements?” That’s a quote. And you can bet plenty of his colleagues are thinking the same thing.