Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich
says the government should not cut spending when the economy is trying to recover, and President Barack Obama should challenge GOP ‘rubbish’ claims that reducing federal expenses will create more jobs – or he will pay a political price.
“When consumers are reluctant to buy, when big businesses are sitting on about $1.6 trillion worth of cash – they’re not going to invest until they have customers – that’s the time you don’t want government to hold back; you want government right now,” Reich said Wednesday on MSNBC.
“Yes, the deficit’s a long-term problem, but right now you don’t want to cut government spending, yet [House Majority Leader] Eric Cantor and the Republicans are indulging – you hear it over and over and over – it's a big lie.
“Here’s the problem – George Orwell understood this in his novel ‘1984’ that came out in 1949: Unless it’s rebutted, unless there’s a repudiation, a sharp, clear repudiation, people eventually start listening,” Reich said. “They hear it all the time – they start believing it, particularly if they’re under some economic stress.”
Reich said it is up to Obama to set the record straight.
“There’s no challenge,” he continued. “The president ought to be out there – the president of the United States ought to be saying: ‘This is rubbish.’ The president is the only one who has the bully pulpit.
“If he doesn’t counter, and counter these Republican mistruths, he will be in trouble next year.”
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