Liberal, Irreverent

Monday, August 4, 2008

Americans Demand Action on the Economy

Campaign for America's Future

Americans Demand Action on the Economy

“We’re in a recession, and Washington is doing nothing about it.” According to recent survey research, that’s one of the most powerful arguments progressives can make right now. The White House says “we have avoided a recession.” But Americans overwhelmingly disagree. They describe the economy as in recession and support an economic growth package—for good reason.

* America is rapidly losing jobs. On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that employers cut 51,000 jobs in July, the seventh straight month in which more jobs were lost than created. Our country has lost 463,000 payroll jobs so far this year. The unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent, the worst jobless rate in four years. Nearly 9 million Americans are now unemployed; 1.6 million lost their jobs in the last 12 months.

* For those who remain employed, real wages are declining. Companies are cutting workers’ hours. In July, average weekly hours worked slipped to the lowest level since November 2004 and weekly earnings grew at the lowest rate since September 2005. At the same time, costs are rising much faster than wages—the Commerce Department reported today that inflation hit a 27-year high in June.

* While Americans struggle to make ends meet, big oil companies are raking in windfall profits. The six biggest oil companies reported over $50 billion in combined profits for the 2nd quarter of 2008. Called “gargantuan, record-breaking earnings” by the Associated Press, this is their largest combined profit in history. Exxon Mobil’s $11.6 billion quarterly profit was the largest in the history of any American company.

* The McCain-conservative economic plan will help big corporations, not families. The McCain-conservative proposal to “create jobs” is simple—cut taxes for big corporations. McCain would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent and give corporations larger tax deductions. Big oil companies would receive an additional $3.8 billion every year under his plan—$1.2 billion a year for Exxon Mobil alone.

Progressive solutions:

Provide families with a $1,000 stimulus check ($500 for individuals) this fall. Provide $25 billion to state governments to fight the effects of recession, and another $25 billion to repair crumbling bridges, roads, and schools. The $50 billion investment will save more than one million jobs. Fund most of the economic growth package with a windfall profits tax on big oil companies.

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