On the eve of automatic spending cuts threatening to slash funding for everything from national parks to The Pentagon, every American is asking the question “why can’t our elected officials pull this together and solve this problem?”
On Thursday BurbankNBeyond posed the same question to Representative Adam Schiff (D) from California’s 28th Congressional District.
BurbankNBeyond: Can you give us a bit of information on how we got into this mess, and why Americans shouldn’t be absolutely furious at the current situation? What is going to happen next?
Rep. Schiff: Well Americans should be furious about the result, as this is a man-made injury. Our economy is poised to finally recover, and we keep getting in the way with these artificial financial crisis.
We do have a deficit and debt problem, and that has to be addressed. But it has to be addressed in an intelligent way, where we reduce spending, where we raise revenues, and where we do this in a phased-in manner that doesn’t cause us to shift jobs and bring about a second recession.
The sequester is an across-the-board cut that cuts the good with the bad equally, and that’s the last thing we ought to be doing.
So it is excruciatingly frustrating that we are at this impasse yet again. I think it is reflective of the decision be the house leadership to go into the sequester as a way of managing the expectations of some of the GOP members, particularly the Tea Party members.
But it is an awful price to make the country pay just for the purpose of their own internal political problems. I hope the come to the conclusion very quickly that they need to abandon the sequester and come back to the negotiating table.
BurbankNBeyond: Do you believe this is going to change the perception of people outside of the United States, how the United States government is managing its own affairs, or is that even important for us to consider at this point?
Rep. Schiff: I think it is important in the sense that we’re part of a global economy. And to the degree people lose confidence in America’s ability to govern itself, and take economic steeps it needs to take for its own prosperity has a big impact on the faith in our currency, and the faith in our political system.
But it is also very important right here at home. We saw a downgrading of our credit rating by agencies in the last fiscal crisis. And we’ve once again proven incapable of governing. We could see another downgrade, and that has far-reaching consequences.
So this is something to be avoided at all costs. And gain the result will be a loss of jobs. Our highest priority right now should be the creation of jobs, not the loss of jobs.
If all we are concerned about is reducing the deficit and debt, sure – we can do that overnight. We can do it to a radical degree. But there is no question it will lead us into a recession.
We ought to reduce the deficit and balance the books in a responsible way that leads to job growth and doesn’t throw our recovery off track.