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Bond: We Need a Stimulus Plan that Creates Jobs, Puts People Back to Work
Democrats’ Plan Grows the Debt and Government, but Not the Economy
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond today urged the Democratic-controlled Congress to pass a stimulus bill that will create jobs and put people back to work immediately. Bond, ranking member of the Senate Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee criticized the bill brought before the Senate Appropriations and Finance Committees today for failing to address the root of the economic crisis, failing to give families and small businesses needed tax relief, and short-changing funds for infrastructure projects.
“With American families struggling in this time of economic crisis, we must act quickly and boldly to protect and create jobs and put people back to work immediately,” said Bond. “Investing in ready-to-go priority infrastructure projects, providing tax relief for working families and small businesses, and attacking the root of the problem by restoring the credit markets are critical components to any timely, targeted, and temporary economic recovery package. Unfortunately, this Democratic bill falls short of those goals and does much more to grow the debt and grow government, than to grow the economy.”
Noting the urgency of our economic crisis, Bond voted to get the Democrats’ flawed bill to the floor so serious amendments could be made to improve the critical economic recovery plan. Bond stressed that while Republicans just received a copy of the Democrats’ plan yesterday, there are already some eye-popping problems that need to be addressed on the floor. First is the sticker shock – the House plan, totaling $825 billion, would spend almost a trillion in new taxpayer funds. Bond pointed out that the spending in the Senate Democrats’ plan, which provides a similar amount of funds and tax breaks is an enormous debt to saddle our children and grandchildren with – especially if it doesn’t include the needed steps to work.
While well intentioned, the Senate Democrats’ plan just won’t work, Bond emphasized. Before the Democrats’ plan was unveiled there had been broad bipartisan agreement that transportation and infrastructure investment is a critical component of economic recovery. Unfortunately, in the Senate Democrats plan only, six percent of the $365 billion in the appropriations portion of the stimulus would be used to improve our nation’s crumbling roads, highways, bridges, and waterways.
The most significant shortfall of the Democrats’ bill is that it fails to fix the root of the economic crisis, which is the breakdown in our financial and credit markets. Bad debt continues to weigh down the banking system creating fear and uncertainty about the solvency about our financial system. The Senator emphasized that our economy will not improve until we tackle this problem head on, which the Democrats’ current plan fails to do.
Bond urged the Democratic leadership to adopt three steps that are necessary for any plan to create jobs and put our economy on the road to recovery. First, the economic recovery package must address the root of the problem. Bond recommended creating a new federal entity, similar to the Resolution Trust Corporation to dispose of bad debts like was done to deal with the Savings and Loan crisis. Addressing the root of our current crisis – whether it’s through an RTC or another alternative – is vital to economic recovery and restoring the credit markets.
In addition to stabilizing our markets, any economic recovery plan must help struggling families now, emphasized Bond. Step two should include broad and immediate tax relief. Tax relief will also help our small businesses, giving them the money they need to create new jobs and encouraging them to invest in new equipment and hire new employees. Bond added that the third critical component of a stimulus plan should include real investment in our infrastructure. America’s decades-long lack of investment in infrastructure – in roads, bridges, river navigation and all types of public improvements – is taking a huge toll on our nation’s economy. Bond pointed out that it is critical that we invest now in shovel-ready projects that will make significant long-term improvements to our infrastructure and create jobs in our communities now.