News that the nation created a net of zero jobs in August is increasing pressure on both political parties to come up with proposals to spur private sector growth.
Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D) is calling for a job creation plan to be integrated in a congressional proposal to cut the deficit. When lawmakers return from August recess this week, members of the super committee tasked with targeting deficit reduction will begin serious talks about how to cut more than $1 trillion from the federal budget.
"The way to reduce the federal deficit is to create more jobs, so it's got to be fully integrated into the program for managing our debt," Cardin says.
Although President Obama won't lay out his plan for job creation to Congress until later this week, Cardin offered some suggestions this weekend. "I think if that if you can find a way to target tax relief to job creation, we should do it," Cardin says. "If we can target money to do more building in a constructive way. We need to still modernize our schools, we need better roads, we need better water infrastructure, we need better energy infrastructure."
The dismal data on August's job numbers also has lawmakers in both major parties pointing fingers at their opponents. Republicans say the president's policies are to blame, and they're pushing for less federal regulations and drastic cuts in spending. Democrats, including Cardin, say accelerating spending cuts could weaken the nation during this fragile economic recovery.
President Obama address the nation Thursday at 7 p.m., and Cardin says he hopes the president is able to convince lawmakers to include some job creation measures in a deal to cut the deficit.
Republicans are already accusing the president of using the speech for political purposes. Cardin says both parties need to give the plan a fair hearing. "I would hope that we not see knee jerk reactions, that these proposals would be analyzed fairly," Cardin says.