Strengthen the Middle Class
Create Millions of Jobs via Public Works & Green Energy Investment
Tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy have not created jobs. Instead, they’ve added to the budget deficit and created this illusion of a fiscal crisis. Our elected officials are using this crisis that they created as an excuse to call for cuts in public goods and services that most of us benefit from.
Instead of tax cuts, we need a public works program that will repair our crumbling infrastructure, address the looming disaster of climate change and strengthen the middle class.
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s infrastructure a “D”. They say we need to invest about $2.2 trillion dollars to improve the safety of our roads, airports, bridges, public transit and drinking water systems, to name a few. Watch their compelling 2009 video here. Their 2013 report card is due out soon.
Climate experts say if we continue to rely on fossil fuels for much longer, we’re courting climate change disaster. Our children and grandchildren’s future depends on the creation of green jobs.
A public works jobs bill that includes massive green energy investments would put people back to work, improve our immediate health and safety and give future generations a chance of averting climate change on a catastrophic level.
Stimulate the Economy by Reducing the Principal of Underwater Homeowners
Nationally, there are almost 16 million underwater homes, worth $2.8 trillion, that are $1.2 trillion underwater. Resetting those mortgages to fair market value would save the average underwater homeowner $543 per month, pumping $104 billion into the national economy every year. This would create 1.5 million jobs nationally.
The housing crisis is rooted in illegal activity by lenders and Wall Street and inadequate rules and enforcement. The misconduct included predatory sub-prime lending, targeting of senior citizens, veterans, and communities of color, and bundling and pawning off flawed mortgages, avoiding accountability. Those forces combined with record long-term unemployment to bring our economy to the brink of collapse, and continue to jeopardize our economic recovery.
Principal reduction is the bold plan we need to fix the housing crisis, create jobs, and reset the economy. This includes replacing Ed DeMarco, interim director of FHFA, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. DeMarco is obstinately and ideologically opposing principal reduction, despite its proven benefits for homeowners and taxpayers.