As we receive more bad news about the state of the economy, Americans everywhere are feeling the negative impact of President Bush's economic policies. Americans are facing higher costs for basic items, unemployment is up, millions of Americans have lost their homes or value in their homes due to the housing crisis, and gas prices have hit an all time high.
Congressman Thompson has been an advocate and supporter of the economic stimulus package legislation to help hardworking Americans, jumpstart our slowing economy, and help create 500,000 American jobs. The plan is timely, targeted, and temporary; later this spring, recovery rebates will put hundreds of dollars (up to $600 per individual and $1,200 per married couple, plus $300 per child) into the hands of more than 130 million Americans, expand financing opportunities for Americans in danger of losing their homes, and promote small business investment in plants and equipment.
Congressman Thompson was an original co-sponsor of legislation signed into law providing an increase in the federal minimum wage to stimulate the economy, bring the minimum wage up. Under the act, the federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 per hour by the summer of 2009.
Thompson supports a second economic stimulus package that will help get our economy back on track, create jobs, and speed assistance to families struggling to make ends meet. A second stimulus package should go to infrastructure, with some of it targeted to transportation projects. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, for each $1 billion of new transportation spending would create 47,000 new jobs. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials estimate that more than 3,000 transportation projects could be awarded and started within 30 to 90 days. For example, proposals to provide $18 billion in new transportation spending to create approximately 750,000 new jobs are worth considering since they immediately stimulate the economy.
Congressman Thompson also supports the long-term vision to stimulate jobs and the economy in a myriad of diverse ways, such as:
§ Lower health care costs and increase health care quality;
§ Lower energy prices, create hundreds of thousands of new "green" jobs, provide incentives for clean, renewable energy and fight potential energy price gouging and price fixing by OPEC;
§ Bolster the housing market and help Americans keep their homes--and keep value in their homes;
§ Make college more affordable and K-12 classrooms more successful;
§ Empower American ingenuity and give businesses the tools to win in a global economy;
§ Rebuild and modernize our nation's roads, bridges, levees, and energy grid, and extend high-speed Internet communications to create jobs across America;
§ Create tax fairness, with no call to make permanent tax cuts for the richest Americans;
§ Help restore confidence in consumer goods; and
§ Reduce the deficit and restore fiscal responsibility to enable our nation to meet future challenges.