Former Sec of Labor says gov should not focus on reducing deficit

A prominent professor who served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton posted an article early this month suggesting deficit reduction should not be a priority of the federal government.

Professor Robert Reich penned an article in which he said the government should not focus on reducing the national deficit.

“[J]ob growth and wage growth should be the central focus of economic policy, not deficit reduction,” wrote Robert Reich, professor of public policy at the University of California – Berkeley, in a blog post published on his website.

“Yet all we’re hearing from Washington – and all we’re likely to hear as Republicans and Democrats negotiate over raising the debt ceiling – is how to cut the deficit,” he added.

The 113th Congress is slated to continue negotiations over the national deficit in the next few months. A last minute deal early in the year averted sending the nation off the “fiscal cliff” but left other major financial issues unresolved.

Many political analysts speculate Republicans will advocate for entitlement reform as a means to put the nation back on a prosperous track.

Reich, however, branded the idea of entitlement reform as a “hoax” and contended the welfare state should be fattened up, in another post published on Sunday.

“If anything, America’s safety nets have been too small and shot through with holes,” argued the former Secretary of Labor.

He added that, “’Entitlement reform’ sounds like a noble endeavor. But it has little or nothing to do with reducing future budget deficits.”

On twitter he said tackling entitlements distracts us from more “urgent reforms” like “cutting our bloated military.”

Professor Reich served under President Clinton from 1993-1997 as Secretary of Labor. According to his online bio, he is also editor of the American Prospect.

He did not return a request for comment by Campus Reform.

Follow the author of this article on twitter: @oliverdarcy