Over the past 200 years, America’s economy has been one of our nation’s greatest strengths. It is an engine that has produced remarkable technological innovations and provided us with one of the highest standards of living in the world.
But right now our nation’s economy is in a deep recession that has hit Michigan harder and longer than most states.
Record job losses in manufacturing, particularly in the auto industry that supports so much of our state’s economy, have been devastating to Michigan families. Our unemployment rate is the highest in the country; we’ve lost more than half a million jobs since 2001. The latest statistics show Michigan in the top 10 for home foreclosures. And too many Michigan homeowners find themselves barely able to pay their mortgages.
Carl Levin believes our number one priority must be to stem the tide of job losses and turn our country’s economy around. That’s why he was a strong supporter of President Obama’s Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The legislation made substantial investments to rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, improve education, and provide tax cuts to 3.9 million Michigan workers. The administration estimates that plan will create 3 million jobs nationwide - more than 100,000 in Michigan alone. The plan also redoubles our commitment to the social safety net by increasing unemployment benefits by $100 per month for more than 1 million Michigan workers.
The urgent need to get our economy back on track is also why Carl is a strong proponent of emergency bridge loans from the Federal Government to U.S. automakers. Every other country in the world is coming to the aid of their domestic auto industry in this world-wide recession because they understand that their domestic auto industry is a critical component of their manufacturing sector. The United States must do the same.
For years, Carl Levin has called for greater assistance for our manufacturing base. As part of his broader American Manufacturing Initiative, Senator Levin has pressed for more than $2 billion in funding to support the production of advanced technology vehicles and next-generation batteries. He will continue to push for economic policies that will pull us out of this recession and to promote manufacturing and trade policies that will reverse the loss of manufacturing jobs in Michigan and throughout the country.