Creating a new American Century of Prosperity:
Bill Richardson’s Plan for Job Growth and a Healthier Economy
Page 3 of 26
Investing in Technology and Innovation.
If America is to retain its leadership in the global marketplace, it must renew its emphasison science and technology and establish new incentives for innovation.
Investing in and Protecting the American Workforce.
A highly skilled workforce is central to sustained job growth and a healthy economy. Ourcountry must establish a strong foundation of improved education and a workforcedevelopment system that’s streamlined and targeted to the needs of industry.The new global economy presents both challenges and opportunities. To ensure a prosperousfuture, we must protect our workforce, develop new skills, and help American businesses thrive.
President Bush has a dismal record on job creation and the economy. Under President BillClinton, America’s finances regained a sound footing as we approached the new century. Afterthirty years of deficits, in 2000 we recorded a surplus of $236 billion, marking the second year ina row that the federal government spent less than it collected.
Since George W. Bush became President, however, runaway spending and massive deficits haveonce again become the norm, placing our nation’s finances in jeopardy. Along the way, ourgross federal debt has increased from $5.8 trillion in 2001 to $9 trillion today.
This increase has real-world implications for America. Instead of using surpluses to shore upSocial Security and pay down the debt, as was happening under President Clinton, we are insteadpaying more than $400 billion per year in interest-payments alone, a figure that will grow to$612 billion by 2013.
The debt also has important consequences for our national security. As foreign-held debt hasdoubled since 2000,
America has become increasingly dependent on other nations, especiallyChina. The longer we delay fiscal reform, the more influence we give the Chinese and othersover our economic and trade policies.The Bush Administration’s excuse is that 9/11 and the War on Terror are responsible for thisrecord surge in spending. The facts, however, do not correspond to the Administration’s claims.Defense and homeland security spending have accounted for only one-third of the post-9/11deficits, with the White House’s tax and spending priorities accounting for the rest.