Honorable Steve Kagen, M.D.

Wisconsin's former 8th District Representative

January 4, 2007 to December 22, 2010

Historical Congressional Website

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I Agree - Enter

Economic Crisis: The Medicine We Need

We are engaged in the economic emergency of our generation and we need thoughtful leaders who have good judgment.


Our economy has been wounded by three simultaneous shots: a worldwide collapse in the financial markets, a severe credit crunch, and dramatic failures in our housing and automobile markets.  During the past few years, through no fault of their own, some 3.6 million Americans have lost their jobs, and in spite of all we are doing to reverse this downward spiral, another two to three million jobs may disappear in 2009.  In parts of Northeast Wisconsin, unemployment rates have hit 12 percent.


Simply put, everyone is losing something.  Workers are losing their jobs.  Retirees are losing their life savings.  Small business owners are losing their customers.  Big Banks are broke, and corporate earnings are falling off a cliff. We are all wondering, "Is my job going to be the next one to disappear?"


These tough times are temporary.  We have worked our way through tougher times in the past, and I am confident we will do so again by rolling up our sleeves and, with a strong sense of shared sacrifice and personal responsibility, beginning to move forward.  All we need do is to think things all the way through and take the first step together.


The first thing we must do is to offer small private businesses the same treatment the previous administration gave to big banks: access to credit at 0 percent interest rates. If access to cheap credit was a good remedy for big banks, it will be even better for small businesses that represent 93 percent of U.S. employers, create nearly 80 percent of all new jobs, and are responsible for 50 percent of our annual Gross Domestic Product.  Small businesses are the real economic engines of our economy, and transfusing them with credit is exactly the medicine they need to grow our economy and expand the middle class.


Let’s work together and build a better nation by immediately making credit available to small businesses and investing our hard-earned tax dollars right here at home rebuilding America’s infrastructure.  Doing so will generate millions of private sector jobs and enable millions of families to remain in their own homes, educate themselves and their children, and work our way through the worst recession of the century.

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