(CNSNews.com) -The United States does not have a short-term debt problem, just a “jobs crisis” that can be solved with greater government stimulus spending, according to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
Speaking at a press conference on jobs Wednesday, Trumka called for greater government spending in areas like education and jobs.
Asked whether such spending was responsible in an era of record federal debt and deficits, he replied that “the United States doesn’t have a short-term debt crisis, it has a short-term jobs crisis.”
The head of the nation’s largest labor union organization then compared increased federal deficit spending to mortgages or the taking out of student loans, saying each was an “investment” in the future.
“When you go out [and] a lot of people get married and have children, sometimes you buy a house. You don’t pay for that house this year, you pay for it over 30 years, and why? Because it’s an investment in your future,” he said.
“Then you send your kids to school and you don’t pay for those schools because most people can’t afford to pay for a whole year of schooling in one year, [so] you borrow. And why do you do that? Because you’re investing in the future.
“Investing in job creation is the best investment this country can have and putting people back to work – like the people that are up here and the other 25 million around the country – would help solve that problem to the extent that it exists.”
Trumka laid out an AFL-CIO six-point plan for job creation. Five of the six points involve more government spending in areas like education, transportation, energy, aid to states, and unemployment benefits – the kind of spending included in President Obama’s 2009 stimulus package.
That package, which Obama promised would keep unemployment below eight percent, failed to make much of an impact on jobs. In the more than two years since the bill was signed, unemployment has not dipped below the eight percent threshold pledged by the president.
On the contrary, the economy has lost millions of jobs since the first stimulus was signed into law. Further, according to the most recent projections from the Congressional Budget Office, unemployment will not drop below eight percent until at least 2014.