Philadelphia, July 12, 2011 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter has released the following statement regarding the current debate in Washington, D.C., surrounding the raising of the debt limit and long-term deficit reduction. Mayor Nutter also discussed these issues last night on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#43720311).
“For Mayors across America fighting to balance their budgets, attract businesses, keep police and firefighters on the force, and fill potholes in our streets, the current debate in Washington, D.C. around the debt limit is perplexing and frustrating.
“While Congress engages in a destructive game of ‘chicken’ – playing politics with the debt limit and our economic future – too many Americans are still struggling financially and looking for work. The only ‘debt limit’ someone without a job cares about is their own personal debt limit that they reached a long time ago. The only ceiling they care about is the one they’re trying to keep above their family’s heads.
“Our political leaders in Washington need to move quickly to take the necessary action on the debt limit and reduce our country’s long-term deficit, and to do it in a balanced way that does not do further damage to our economy.
“In Philadelphia we closed a $2.5 billion budget gap through a combination of spending cuts and temporary revenue enhancements – a shared sacrifice that did not decimate the services that so many rely upon, but also did not harm our ability to attract and retain jobs. Washington must take the same balanced approach.
“Congress cannot reduce the deficit by cuts alone. The cuts that we have already sustained are hurting American cities and exacerbating our unemployment problem. Further program spending cuts will simply swell the ranks of the unemployed and hurt those who need our help the most.
“The only thing that should be ‘off the table’ is balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest Americans while holding harmless millionaires and billionaires who can afford to contribute a little more. Anyone planning to buy a corporate jet will still do so, even without a tax break.
“We have big challenges in this country that need big solutions. We don’t have time for this type of game-playing and brinksmanship. Mayors solve big challenges every day. It’s time for Washington to do the same.”