Cantor and Scott Offer Different Ideas on Economic Recovery
Two Richmond-area congressmen, Democrat Bobby Scott and Republican Eric Cantor, are sharing different ideas on how best to stabilize the economy and get Americans back to work. Craig Carper reports.
Republican lawmakers are continuing to criticize the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, saying the package has failed to create jobs.
Congressman Eric Cantor says state governments are getting accustomed to using federal funds to balance their budgets, which puts the country further into deficit.
Cantor: Washington seems to be bent on continuing to borrow and spend money it doesn’t have. That is not a long-term sustainable policy; what we ought to be about is getting people back to work. We know if we can begin to grow this economy again, everyone’s lives are going to be better off, as well as the fiscal health of this Commonwealth and the country.
Democrats counter that state and local governments have cut their budgets by 500 billion dollars over the past 3 years. They say that federal stimulus has helped stop the bleeding for now, but that a second stimulus may be necessary to get the economy back on track.
Congressman Bobby Scott says the federal budget has flexibility to assist state and local governments temporarily by reinvesting in roads and infrastructure.
Scott: As soon as we get the jobs back, we’re gonna have to deal with a huge deficit. We’ve done it before. When I was first elected, first session was the ’93 session, we passed a budget, very controversial, but the result was that within 8 years, the budget not only balanced, but in surplus sufficient to pay off the national debt by 2008. Had we not messed up the budget in 2001, we would have paid off the national debt held by the public by 2008. We would have had enough money to replace all of the deficit and the social security trust fund and other trust funds by 2013.
Virginia’s unemployment rate is 7 percent, lower than the national rate of 9.5 percent.
Craig Carper, WCVE News, Capitol Square