The Congressional Super Committee should invest in America By Nate Jackson

The Congressional Super Committee, with Washington’s own Senator Patty Murray as a co-chair, is charged with finding $1.5 trillion dollars in the Federal Budget before the end of November. The money can be from revenue, spending cuts or some combination of the two.

We believe that the committee should protect the needs of the most vulnerable among us by leaving Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security off the table. We also know that the real problem in America is not a debt or deficit crisis, but a jobs crisis.

At a forum at Town Hall in Seattle, policy experts Ryan Alexander with Taxpayers for Common SensePaul Guppy of the Washington Policy Center, Andy Nicholas of the Washington State Budget and Policy Centerand Ross McFarlane of Climate Solutions discussed the goals of the Super Committee.

They pointed to the just released Green Scissors 2011 Report as the basis for their discussion.  

The report details potential spending cuts, tax loophole eliminations and a review of older programs and benefits in a modern light in order to save significant amounts. Proposed cuts include agricultural laws that were passed during the Great Depression, and getting rid of tax subsidies to profitable business sectors such as the oil and gas industry.

The Green Scissors report makes the case for reevaluating outdated programs, and eliminating unjustified tax breaks so that our government can focus on creating good American jobs.

McFarlane from Climate Solutions said that the only way that we can move forward is to make investments in our own country that will put us on a job creating and competitive path. He argued that the keys to a broad economic recovery include energy efficiency, green technology and infrastructure projects – all of which help create good jobs.

Budget and Policy Center analyst Andy Nicholas talked about the need to protect social safety net programs such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (welfare) and Social Security. He argued that these are proven programs that lift thousands of people out of poverty per year.  He also thought that the first priority of any federal policy maker should be fixing the economy by investing in programs that have a proven track record of getting people back to work.

The Super Committee has an enormous opportunity to help get America back to work. We need to make sure they put people first by protecting our social safety net and investing in the creation of good American jobs.

We’ve heard enough about the debt crisis. Let’s find a solution to the jobs crisis.