Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) was one of 60 Democrats and 40 Republicans sending a letter to the Congressional Supercommittee, asking its members to “go big” and consider up to $4 trillion in deficit reduction measures including spending cuts and revenue increases over the next decade. The committee has until November 18th to recommend a minimum of $1.2 trillion in cuts. Higgins believes strongly the best plan to reduce unemployment and also reduce the debt is one that supports significant investments in infrastructure.
Mr. Speaker, this week the bipartisan chairs of the previous deficit reduction commissions admonished the Supercommittee to “go big” with a package that includes a balance of cuts and revenues. Unfortunately I think they will “go small,” and that would be a tragic lost opportunity.
It would also be a lost opportunity if the Supercommittee’s legislation does not include job-creating measures. Because the best way to reduce the deficit is to create jobs.
Just ten years ago the debate in this country was over the implications of repaying our debt in its entirety. We had that debate because under President Clinton 22 million jobs were created and record deficits turned into record surpluses.
Mr. Speaker the Supercommittee should be bold and include a major investment in infrastructure. With interest rates at historic lows it will never be cheaper to finance the massive backload of improvements that we need to make to stay competitive.
Optimistically, economic growth over the next two years is not expected to be enough to the sustain current employment levels.
That means unemployment will increase unless we act to create jobs. I urge the Supercommittee to do the right thing “go big.” The American people need to work and much work needs to be done.