Sep 12

Issue: Economy RSS

Despite second stimulus, unemployment is “going to stay high,” Goolsbee says

Posted 3 years, 7 months ago.


This weekend, the newly-appointed chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Austin Goolsbee declined to comment how many jobs would be created by President Obama’s plan to invest $50 billion in infrastructure and $200 billion in tax cuts for companies’ investment in research and development, ABC News reports. Unemployment is “going to stay high,” he told the outlet. “This recession is the deepest in our lifetimes, the deepest since 1929. More than eight million people lost their jobs. It’s going to take a significant push on our part — and time — before that comes down.”

Last week, we explored the “Second Stimulus” issue in our Point/Counterpoint series. One side of the debate says that without federal spending the nation’s economic situation could be much worse. Opponents say that more stimulus spending hasn’t fixed the economy and means more air in our ballooning budget deficits.

In July, Obama visited automobile manufacturing plants in Michigan in support of government bailouts of Chrysler and General Motors.

As this Politico opinion piece points out, the auto bailout worked; GM’s June sales rose 11 percent from the year-ago period and its line of cars and SUVs were selling well. It’s a similar type of infrastructure investment proposed in the second stimulus that the administration hopes will continue to keep struggling companies affloat and encourage development.

In 2008, though, there was much debate over how over how government should address the economic crisis. The Emergency Economic Stablilization Act sought to stabilize the banking industry and make loans available to individual and corporate borrowers who rely on them. Politicians and the public debated how the money should be spent and whether the government should enact stricter regulation of the banking industry or take additional measures to stimulate the economy.

Throughout American history, citizens and government officials have debated the merits of government intervention in the marketplace to ease economic turmoil. During the Great Depression, President Roosevelt’s New Deal used federal authority as never before to regulate the economy, control corporate power and create a vast public works program.

How do you feel? Should the federal government expand its control over the economy to restore economic health?