“The ‘Crisis of Capitalism'”
In a year when a number of major institutions have announced they will be taking a hit from the financial crisis, many economists are urging the federal government to make sure the business community is not left out.
In a letter sent to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday, economists for the left-leaning Center for American Progress (CAP) urged the House to “begin a process of full funding” for “economic development and job training” programs that could help businesses in the region that are struggling.
“If this program were not made available, it would be the equivalent of a one-time cash infusion,” the letter reads.
“The nation’s leaders need to take this opportunity to create and support jobs in this region and the economy that is being devastated by the crisis.”
In the letter, CAP senior fellow Andrew Puzder, a former CEO of CKE Restaurants and other companies, said the money could be used to support programs that support business expansion and “provide new jobs in the local economy.”
CAP is a progressive group that focuses on economic development, especially in the wake of the financial meltdown, but it also supports efforts to address inequality.
Its president, Brad Woodhouse, is a Republican, and the group recently launched a political action committee, Working for Our Future, to help elect Republicans who support the interests of the business industry.
“We need to start thinking about how we can provide more economic security for Americans, so they don’t have to go hungry when there are millions of jobs to be created,” Woodhouse said in an interview with The Huffington Post.
“And I think that’s where the ‘C’ stands for crisis.”
Woodhouse was among several business leaders who met with House Republicans last week to lobby for the business-friendly legislation, and said they have been working hard to ensure it is passed.
The letter comes as Congress is debating whether to allow banks to provide government-backed loans to businesses that are too big to fail.
Some Republicans are pressing for the bill to include language that would allow banks like CKE to be required to provide federal guarantees for the loans.
“In the current financial environment, CKE has demonstrated that it has demonstrated the ability to thrive in the difficult economic times and is in a position to help other businesses and Americans,” Woodhand said in the letter.
“Congress should be looking at these loans as a potential mechanism for lending and supporting this region’s businesses in a difficult economic environment.
We urge the House and Senate to pass the legislation now.”
CAP said the bill would help help boost businesses in an area that is in dire need of help, as the region is hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs.
“Businesses are seeing their margins shrink, and that means they are spending more on equipment, hiring more people, and hiring more workers,” Woodhead said.
“These are the kinds of things that can help businesses thrive, so it’s time for Congress to act.”