Bernstein: Don’t Let Deficit Focus Crowd Out Education and Job Creation

February 5, 2013 at 11:01 am

Testifying today at a House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on “Challenges and Opportunities Facing America’s Schools and Workplaces,” CBPP Senior Fellow Jared Bernstein explained that recent budget cuts are threatening the educational support critical to a productive workforce.  Here’s an excerpt:

Clearly, the education of its citizens is time-honored role of government — a “public good” that is essential to building a strong, competitive economy.  It is widely accepted by economists of all political stripes that absent a public role, the nation’s citizenry would be under-educated, damaging both individual and national potential.

However, an objective observer of today’s politics would, I fear, be hard-pressed to see these concerns reflected in our political agenda or our policies.  It is extremely hard to see how careening from crisis-to-crisis — from fiscal cliff to debt ceiling to sequester — supports the private sector need for both a well-educated labor force on the supply side and a stable climate of demand for the goods and services they produce.

In particular, an exclusive focus on deficit reduction appears to have wholly crowded out policies devoted to educational opportunity or job creation.  Worse, spending cuts are threatening to reduce the government’s commitment to supporting education and training while austerity economics is hurting the fragile recovery.

Click here for the full testimony.

Print Friendly

Your Comment

Comment Policy:

Thank you for joining the conversation about important policy issues. Comments are limited to 1,500 characters and are subject to approval and moderation. We reserve the right to remove comments that:

  • are injurious, defamatory, profane, off-topic or inappropriate;
  • contain personal attacks or racist, sexist, homophobic, or other slurs;
  • solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites or to sell products or services;
  • may infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights of others or other applicable laws or regulations; or
  • are otherwise inconsistent with the goals of this blog.

Posted comments do not necessarily represent the views of the CBPP and do not constitute official endorsement by CBPP. Please note that comments will be approved during the Center's business hours. If you have questions, please contact

9 − = one

 characters available