UMass Boston Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs Christian Weller testified before the Joint Revenue Hearing of the House and Senate Ways and Means Committees at the Massachusetts State House today.
Weller’s testimony came as lawmakers and Patrick administration officials kicked off a new state budget cycle.
Weller told legislators that the national economic recovery has shown “tremendous resilience” in the face of major obstacles in recent years, such as uncertainty over taxation and spending, a depressed housing market, shrinking state and local government spending, and record household debt levels.
Weller said a slowing growth in China, India, and Europe and growing uncertainty over how President Obama and Congress will address the looming tax increases and spending cuts are the main impediments to stronger growth.
But he said he was “optimistic” that Congress would reach a deal to avert another recession.
“Policymakers can and will intervene to stop the economy from going into another recession—that is, there will in all likelihood be a deal to avoid the most severe impact of the expected fiscal tightening in early 2013,” Weller said.
Weller, also graduate program director for UMass Boston’s Public Policy PhD Program, is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.