WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a Senate Finance Committee hearing with U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner today to examine the revenue proposals included in the Obama Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget, Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), a senior member of the Committee, raised the question of what specific steps and initiatives the Treasury Department is prepared to take to revitalize the economy and stimulate job growth.
“A jobless recovery is not a true recovery if you cannot find a job or put food on the table,” said Senator Snowe, citing the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office’s analysis that the country has experienced a mere 0.06 percent increase in job growth in 18 months. “Considering that we must create approximately 285,000 jobs per month for five straight years to bring the economy back to 5 percent unemployment by 2016, in addition to the fact that we only created 36,000 private-sector jobs in the month of January, it is imperative that the Treasury Department fulfill its mission to maintain a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad. The Department must regain the confidence of the American people after miscalculating the effects of the stimulus package, which the Administration projected would reduce the unemployment rate to 6.9 percent by this time. Instead, we have had 21 consecutive months of 9 percent or higher unemployment.”
“I am concerned the administration remains disconnected from the realities faced by families and small businesses on Main Street. Moreover, the President’s 2012 budget request reflects continued misplaced priorities when it comes to reinvigorating economic growth in our nation, imposing $1.6 trillion in new taxes on families and small businesses,” said Senator Snowe. “Now is not the time to raise taxes on anyone, it is the time to put forth a focused agenda that will produce actual job growth.”