"The House is on Fire" says Nation blog
From the liberal perspective of Nation blogger Katrina Vanden Heuvel - a well respected journalist and author, by the way - the crisis of our Nation is nothing less than a dire emergency, requiring extreme action.
To the right wing fiscal conservative squawking, it is pointed out the FDR did not leave the nation in debt for long, although his critics in the '30s and '40s claimed he had saddled us for eons.
It is now clear: our economy is shrinking, unemployment and underemployment are on the rise at nearly 20 percent, and a tsunami of foreclosures continues unabated--what we have on our hands is nothing less than a national emergency.
That's why it's so critical that good thinkers and progressive activists are on top of this, paying attention to the human costs of this Great Recession.
"I consider President Obama to be in the situation of having inherited a burning apartment building," said Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), testifying before Congress. "He proceeded to gather all the available fire trucks and douse the fires in half the floors."
Mishel went on to describe the need now for a strengthened safety net, more fiscal relief to state and local governments to avoid further layoffs, a public service jobs program to benefit local communities, a job creation tax credit for every new hire, and greater spending on infrastructure.
Quicker than the deficit hawks can say "What about the debt?"--consider these smart words from former Labor Secretary Robert Reich. "When one out of six Americans is unemployed or underemployed, this is no time to worry about the debt," he writes. Reich describes how critics once said future generations would be paying for FDR's debt due to Depression and World War II spending. But when the economy recovered and people were working and paying taxes again in the 1950s, "FDR debt had shrunk to almost nothing."
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