Economic recovery slow in coming, hopes are high with
new stimulus package
Things aren’t looking great and according to Doug Elmendorf, the new director of the Congressional Budget Office in Washington D.C., our country is in for the longest recession since World War II.
Representative Rick Larsen (D), a new member of the House Budget Committee for the 111th Congress, worries for the people of Washington and his district in particular.
“Last month, our unemployment rate in Washington state took the biggest jump in 30 years, from 6.2 to 7.1 percent. Many of my constituents are struggling to find family-wage jobs, pay their bills and put food on the table,” Larsen said. “If we fail to take immediate action, the national jobless rate is set to rise to 11 percent by the last quarter of 2010. But by passing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we can create or save 94,290 jobs in Washington state by the end of 2010, according to the economist Mark Zandi.”
The Recovery and Reinvestment Act is meant to create jobs, fix and update infrastructure and help turn the economy around.
“The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will put people to work modernizing our roads, bridges and transit and investing in clean, efficient energy. It will invest in school modernization and repair to help more children learn in 21st century classrooms, provide tax cuts for 95 percent of working Americans and deliver help for Americans hurt the most,” Larsen said.
While many thought that Washington state has not been hit as hard as other parts of the country by the falling economy, we have recently learned that we are not exempt from lay-offs and dropping housing prices.
“This week, U.S. companies announced more than 71,000 job cuts, and more than 200,000 job cuts have been announced this year, “ Senator Maria Cantwell (D) said. “More people have lost their jobs now than at any other time since World War II, and in Washington state, the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 7.1 percent, the biggest one month increase in more than three decades. In December alone, 90,331 new unemployment applications were filed in Washington state.”
The economic recovery package is not the cure all to end all, however, the hope is that it will give citizens in Washington state the boost they need.
“This legislation alone won’t end the recession. Our country has worse economic times ahead. But today’s testimony made it clear that an economic recovery package is needed now to shorten the recession, lessen its impact on the American economy and workforce and put us on the road to recovery as soon as possible,” Larsen said.
Students in Washington are also supposed to be beneficiaries of this recovery package including $40 million for Snohomish County schools.
“This legislation invests $847 million in modernizing Washington state roads, bridges, transit and other infrastructure,” Larsen said. “It provides $69 million to modernize schools in Washington’s 2nd Congressional District and protect our children from the impact of state and local budget shortfalls.”