Senate Democrats are releasing our stimulus package tomorrow. We are focusing on investments that create jobs but also strategically position us for success in the future economy. We do not see ourselves in opposition to Governor Gregoire’s plan, but rather believe our approach complements the “shovel-ready” approach being discussed by her administration and the incoming Obama administration.
A Senate colleague of mine recently predicted that every typical legislative budget request would now be called “an economic stimulus” proposal. I understand his cynicism.
The great economist himself, John Maynard Keynes, is often quoted as having said that paying people to dig holes and fill them up again would work as a fiscal stimulus. It is important to note that this was not his policy recommendation. He was building a case against the classical economic view that in a recession wages and prices would, in the long run, decline to the point that businesses would start hiring again and consumers would spend. The upheaval caused in the meantime and the lost productivity of the economy while waiting for this eventual private recovery led to the most famous Keynes quote of all: “In the long run, we’re all dead.
His point was that the public sector could make decisions to spend outright or spur private spending by businesses or families when business and consumer confidence has evaporated.
Digging and filling up holes in Everett or Ephrata would create jobs and incomes in those communities, but obviously we can do better than that.
The Senate jobs package aims to make strategic investments in our infrastructure and in our workforce that not only create jobs, but also increases the long-term productivity of the Washington economy. Our productivity is increased when people have more skills, and when infrastructure performs better to move information, people and products.
Stay tuned for details of our plans for:
- Creating more green buildings and more green jobs
- Offering more opportuntieis for apprenticeships, career ladders, and worker retraining in high demand jobs of tomorrow.
- Investing in public works projects to strengthen Washington's competitiveness in areas such as IT, high tech manufacturing, health care technology, clean energy
- Allowing communities and business news ways to finance local revitalization.