07 December 2009 ~ 0 Comments

A Simple Solution to the Economy, Clean Energy & Green Jobs

All too often when I listen to politicians, I hear the echoes of Ross Perot, “Talk is cheap. Words are plentiful. Deeds are precious.”

More than a year after the market crashes, two bailouts and a drastic rise in unemployment, most Americans are still wondering what has really been done to actually fix the problems we face?

Housing prices might be slowly going back up, the stock market seems to have stabilized and consumers are still making purchases beyond their means.

I surprisingly agreed with President Obama during his radio address a month ago when he said that “too many small-business owners remain unable to get credit despite administration steps to jump-start lending, which was virtually frozen when the financial crisis took hold last year.”

Two weeks later, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair reaffirmed our concerns when she said that, “I’m very worried the larger institutions don’t seem like they’re stepping up to the plate providing credit, because if they don’t do that, we’re all in the soup.”

Yet over ten months ago during his confirmation hearing, Secretary of the Treasury, Timothy Geithner told Senator Max Baucus, “I will carry out the reforms that President Obama and I believe are needed in this program. This program must promote the stability of the financial system and increase lending.”

It has become a political art form to speak the truth and produce a false solution, if any at all. However right now, and honestly, a year ago, we needed a solution.

The market and Main Street can solve many of the issues we are facing as a Nation, if the banks begin lending money now. While I cringe at the thought of any further government intervention, President Obama and Congress do have the power to successfully encourage banks to begin lending to small businesses and larger businesses.

The lack of access to capital has led to the collapse of tens of thousands of small businesses nation-wide. Lines of credit were frozen and revoked for thousands of large businesses that depended on those funds to meet payroll, cover overhead and make large purchases, but instead were forced into cutting overhead, laying off their workforces and going into survival mode.

The same thing happened to real estate developers, home builders and much of the construction industry. Solid, profitable and good developments were stalled and foreclosed on by the banks. New projects were stopped mid-construction or at the preliminary stages, hurling hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans, who depended on these types of jobs for their survival out onto the streets.

This has also been the experience for many in the green power plant sector. While the government may applaud its efforts to invest in smart grids, green technology and cleaner cars, it has failed to support creating green power plants now. While hundreds of planned green power plants were under various stages of development prior to the recession, many of them have slowly been disappearing off the map due to a lack of access to capital.

Our leaders in Washington have the power to turn the faucet on right now. Yes, we can create jobs, we can empower small businesses, we can spur the economy, we can create green energy solutions across the country and most importantly, we can do it right now.

Michael Crimmins
Major, USMC (Ret.)
2010 Candidate for Congress (CA-53)

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