Nadler: ‘We Don’t Have a Deficit Problem Right Now’

By Nicholas Ballasy | July 27, 2011 | 4:25 PM EDT

( – Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) argued at a news conference with the Congressional Out of Poverty Caucus that the United States does not currently have a budget crisis.

"That’s the real crisis – the unemployment, not the deficit. We don’t have a deficit problem right now. In the long term, we have a deficit problem – we’ve got to get it under control but not right now," said Nadler at the Capitol on Wednesday.

"Right now we’ve got to get unemployment under control. If we got unemployment down to 7 percent, down to 5 percent, which is what it was in 2005, and 2007 rather before the recession hit, if we got it down to 5 percent, half the deficit would be eliminated just by that – half the deficit without cutting a nickel from the budget. So, we have to address the real problem. The real problem is we are not taxing properly."

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the federal budget deficit will reach $1.5 trillion by the end of the fiscal year 2011. The current national debt limit is $14.29 trillion.

Rep. Nadler supports a higher corporate tax rate.

"In 1950, corporations paid taxes equal to 8 percent of GDP, today they’re paying taxes equal to less than 1 percent of GDP. In 1980, corporations' taxes were 6 percent, sorry, were 30 percent of total tax revenues, today they’re 6 percent of total tax revenues – they’re taking the taxes off the corporations and off the rich," he said.

He continued, "When we talk about, ‘we’ve got a budget deficit crisis’ no we don’t. We have a tax crisis, we have a crisis that we’re not taxing properly and we have a recession and an unemployment crisis.

"The way to get out of that unemployment crisis is to spend money on more food stamps and on aid to states and local governments so they don’t lay off people and on infrastructure so we can be competitive and put people to work and if we did that, unemployment would go down, tax receipts would go up and we’d be well on our way out of this so-called crisis."