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Lawrence Mishel: Yes, families need help
Lawrence Mishel: Yes, families need help
President, Economic Policy Institute

There are many things we should do and we should start exploring them now. The important thing is it's not because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is not going to do what it was set out to do. It's that we needed so much more than was considered last November and December because forecasters were far too optimistic.

We're approaching 10% unemployment and we need to do things to help families get through the crisis and do whatever we can to generate more jobs to assure a limit on the rise of unemployment. We can give greater relief to low income households by augmenting their food stamps, or by helping the unemployed with a weekly supplement. We need to focus on distressed communities where unemployment is going to be high for several years. There are now six unemployed for every job opening.

And we're not talking about a permanent increase in deficits, just higher for a year or two. I don't think this will have a permanent effect on higher interest rates or limit our ability to have foreigners buy our bonds.

NEXT: Mark Zandi: Too early to tell
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Last updated July 09 2009: 5:05 PM ET
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