While Republicans hammer away at what they consider a lackluster economic recovery and high unemployment rates that refuse to budge, South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sees a glass half full rather than half empty when she talks about the mid-term elections.
“These elections will present voters with the choice to continue on a path that focuses on job creation and turning our economy around, or returning to past policies that had us bleeding 750,000 jobs a month,” she told me during a taping of News & Views.
I asked the Broward congresswoman how she can even mention job creation when we still have a 10 percent unemployment rate.
Wasserman Schultz told me, “We clearly have a long way to go and the recovery has not been as quick a pace as we would like but there is no question we have turned the corner. There are a lot of people still suffering, but that’s why we have to continue to push for small business tax reform. We have already given 98-percent of Americans a tax break, we’ve given billions to small business, but we have a small business tax bill that is sitting in the Senate that would infuse $30 billion into the economy and help small business and Republicans are blocking it.”
I asked her, how does she respond when Republicans say we don’t need more government spending, what we need is for the private sector to have money to create more jobs.
She responded, “That’s exactly what the Small Business Jobs Bill would do. It would put $30 billion into the hands of small business through community bank lending. It was part of the Republican agenda, but now they oppose it because of partisan politics.”
I asked her if she agrees there is a feeling among voters that federal spending is out of control.
She told me, “Federal spending is not out of control. We are trying to strike the right balance so we can focus on deficit reduction. We went from a record surplus under President Clinton to a record deficit at the end of President Bush’s administration. The Republicans went through two wars unpaid for that cost a trillion dollars. They passed a Medicare Bill they didn’t pay for and passed tax cuts for wealthy Americans. That’s how the deficit exploded.”
I asked her if she supports letting the Bush tax cuts expire.
She says, “I fully support ending the Bush tax cuts so we can broaden our tax base and pass more tax cuts for the middle class. If we allow the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent of Americans to become permanent it would add $700 billion to the deficit.”
Wasserman Schultz disagrees with critics who say President Obama has over promised and under produced when it comes to turning the economy around.
“President Obama inherited the most significant set of problems in history. The problems did not happen overnight and will not be solved overnight. but we are definitely in the right direction.”