The U.S. Budget & the American Dream - Reps. Hoyer & Johnson, Politico

Deficit solution must preserve the American dream

American Economy
For families still struggling to get by, the holiday season is a time for hope that the coming year will bring new opportunities. While our economic recovery has seen significant progress, there is still much more to be done to get Americans back to work and expand our middle class.
However, a serious impediment to doing so exists in the form of the fiscal cliff. That combination of automatic tax increases and arbitrary spending cuts, if allowed to hit on January 1, would significantly undermine Congress’s ability to invest in moving our recovery forward, creating new opportunities, and working toward sustained job growth.

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If we don’t prioritize spending or bring in sufficient revenues, programs that expand our economy and protect the most vulnerable are at risk. Indiscriminate cuts to those kinds of programs would damage the economy even further, and make it harder for millions to achieve the American Dream.
We’re concerned that, unless we reach a big and balanced deal, items like House Democrats’ “Make It In America” plan will not become reality. This jobs plan invests in innovation, education, and infrastructure in order to help our businesses and workers compete in the global economy. This is the type of jobs platform our nation needs to build a lasting, strong economy, and it represents the kind of investments we believe are worth prioritizing as we get our fiscal house in order.
For example, recognizing the need to graduate more students well prepared for skilled jobs in advanced manufacturing, Make It In America legislation places a particular emphasis on furthering science, technology, engineering, and math – or “STEM” – education in America. It includes bills like the Broadening Participation in STEM Education Act, which was introduced in April and would authorize National Science Foundation grants to help bring more students from underrepresented groups into STEM learning programs.
Right now, our overseas competitors are producing more engineers and scientists than ever before. We ought to be making it easier for students to learn the basics of science and math, use those foundational skills to advance in secondary and post-secondary courses, and graduate ready to find jobs that won’t be shipped overseas. A STEM-prepared workforce will also help us attract new business development to our shores. We hear regularly from advanced manufacturers determined not only to design a product here but also to “make it in America” – only to discover they have trouble finding enough workers and managers here with sufficient STEM training.

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