U.S. Congressman John Carney (D-DE) today released the following statement after questioning Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke about the current state of the U.S. economy:
"The economy situation is improving, but as I travel across Delaware, I see far too many people out of work and struggling to pay the bills. While many talk about unemployment in terms of numbers and statistics, I think of it in terms of the faces I see and the stories I hear every day from constituents. I appreciated the opportunity to ask Chairman Bernanke today about what he believes are the steps Congress must to take in order to encourage economic growth.
"Mr. Bernanke's testimony today reinforced two important points that must guide the work we do here in Congress as we address the economy and work to create jobs: first, we need to be thoughtful on any cuts we implement in the short-term; and second, the most effective thing Congress can do is quickly pass a comprehensive fiscal plan that includes a long-term tax policy to eliminate uncertainty, which discourages businesses from hiring new workers and investing in new facilities.
"Congress has a responsibility to address the fiscal situation in a way that's not counter-stimulative and inspires confidence in the markets to avoid further credit downgrades. That means being deliberative, responsible, and thoughtful about any short-term spending cut that could adversely affect economic growth and job creation. It also means passing a long-term deficit reduction plan that is balanced, fair, and makes clear to the world that the United States is serious reducing the debt.
"That's why I signed a letter to congressional leadership last summer encouraging them to "go big' with a balanced plan that reduced the deficit by $4 trillion while maintaining important investments in infrastructure, education, and health care research. It's also why I was one of only 38 members to vote for the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction proposal when it was brought to the floor of the House. I will continue working to pass a responsible fiscal plan in the near future that makes changes to tax policy and deficit reduction in a way that provides stability to economy.
"Mr. Bernanke's testimony was helpful in broadly framing the critical challenges Congress faces before the end of the year. We need a fiscal plan. We need a long-term tax policy. We need a real strategy for job creation. We need to continue making smart investments in areas that produce economic growth. And we need to do all of this before going off the edge of the fiscal cliff on December 31st. I hope that today's hearing was a wake-up call those who are more concerned with politics rather than progress."