Jacob Lew the Secretary of the Treasury said on Tuesday that lowering the deficit in the country should not overshadow how it important the need is to boost the country’s economic growth and the creation of jobs.
Lew said as important as it was to lower the deficit it cannot be a guiding star. Just reducing the deficit alone cannot be a form of economic policy, said Lew during a speech in Ohio.
Lew said the same kind of urgency had to be applied to expanding the economy and to getting people back working. Lew also pointed out that the country was still living with deep scars that were caused by the financial crisis of 2008.
Lew insisted that the only way to battle the 7.5% unemployment rate was to have an ambitious program of infrastructure building. That program he said would contain an element that would attract private capital so the nation’s debt was not increased.
According to a report from the International Monetary Fund, the national debt is expected to reach 108.1% of the output in the economy this year.
Lew also spoke harshly of the sequester budget cuts that went into effect March 1 because of a failure by the partisan Congress to reach a compromise over deficit reduction.
The government sequester will cut over $85 billion from spending through the end of this fiscal year and has already created furloughs and even cancelled the Cleveland Air Show, which was scheduled near where Lew was giving his speech. The show would have brought millions of dollars into the local economy.