A push by a bipartisan group of senators to avert an end-of-year fiscal crisis is encouraging, but they should keep in mind the needs of the nation's cities, a group of mayors wrote in a letter to the "Gang of Eight" senators.
"In developing this framework--one that could shape the nation's fiscal policy for many years to come--we urge you to carefully consider the impact of your recommendations on the nation's metropolitan economies," the U.S. Conference of Mayors wrote in a letter dated Wednesday and addressed to the bipartisan Gang of Eight. "These are the areas that are responsible for over 90 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, nearly 90 percent of all wage and salary income, and 86 percent of the nation's employment."
A solution that helps businesses and industries grow, supports training for educators, and invests in infrastructure and public safety will strengthen the nation's metropolitan economies, they write.
And while the recommendations over a year ago of the Simpson-Bowles
commission on fiscal reform are imperfect, the group "did a commendable
job of bringing its members together on a balanced approach to deficit
reduction," the mayors wrote. The Gang of Eight should "work in that
spirit." The effects of the automatic end-of-year spending cuts under
sequestration would wreak havoc, they wrote, echoing a message sent to
lawmakers last month.
The letter was signed by: Conference President and Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter; Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton; Mesa, Ariz., Mayor Scott Smith; Louisville, Ky., Mayor Greg Fischer; and Sacramento, Calif., Mayor Kevin Johnson.