Everyone agrees that America desperately needs to boost its job creation, yet Congress and the president have failed to implement any legislation that will do so. It is predicted that the recently agreed-upon authorization to raise the debt ceiling will kill jobs, as it takes a sharp bite out of almost every government program.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), for instance, warned Monday that the domestic cuts will kill at least 323,000 jobs in 2012 alone...Irons, of EPI, warned that an additional 1.5 million jobs would be lost next year if Congress doesn't extend [the payroll tax holiday and federal unemployment benefits].
States have also taken a weed whacker to their budgets, hitting a wide range of job sectors with their indiscriminate cuts. As this chart at ThinkProgress.org illustrates, states that have made the most severe cuts to spending have experienced the greatest job losses.
We know how Republican Speaker John Boehner and his colleagues feel about the clear relationship between jobs and spending cuts:
"In the last two years, under President Obama, the federal government has added 200,000 new federal jobs. If some of those jobs are lost so be it. We're broke."
Clearly, that is not how most Americans--especially the unemployed--feel about job losses. So what would you propose to get job creation back on track?
Despite being assured repeatedly that rich people are "job creators" and that heaping tax cuts on them will result in jobs raining down on the American people, we have yet to witness the fruits of those cuts. But the CEOs certainly have, with many companies continuing to report huge annual profits.
Instead of job creation, we are seeing job cuts and more demands that employees accept steep reductions in their total compensation package in exchange for the privilege of working at highly profitable companies such as Verizon. Soon, we'll be asked to pay for the privilege of having a job.
We have seen Republicans and the Tea Party continually lionize CEOs, yet demonize the worker. Never mind the fact that without workers, no one would need CEOs (except Mitt Romney, who accepts donations from CEOs of fictional companies). What we are not seeing is a job-creating plan or any numbers from Republicans on how many jobs their "job creators" (aka rich fat cats) are going to create and a timeline for when they are going to create them.
Suggestions on ways the government can create jobs typically involve recreating the FDR magic, such as having the government increase spending for infrastructure projects and new construction. It is a great fantasy, but with the insane, job-killing Republicans in Congress determined to prohibit any new spending and insisting on even more spending cuts, they are unlikely to give the FDR routine another showing.
In 1997, France took measures to limit the work week to 35 hours, which did lead to a slight uptick in job creation. While the measure remains popular among unions and many workers, businesses and French conservatives have never been enthusiastic about it, and it has been relaxed several times in the intervening years. Today, France has an unemployment rate of 9.6%, evidence that the law alone was not enough to fix the unemployment problem.
Assuming Republicans cannot be brought to see the light of reason regarding stimulus spending, what measures would you propose for creating jobs? Limiting hours? Tax breaks for creating jobs? Or must we simply wait for the Baby Boom generation to retire (assuming they will be allowed to after this Congress and administration get through with "entitlement" reform) and then everyone can join the healthcare sector to attend to their medical needs (assuming Republicans have not succeeded in killing Medicare, leaving the elderly to die and--as Scrooge would say--"decrease the surplus population")?
On Saturday, Kossack TexanJane shared an interesting proposal from Chris Matthews on how to get Republicans to invest in infrastructure, which most agree would be one of the easiest ways to create jobs.
Essentially, you do whatever you can to focus media attention on unsafe bridges and roads in your area that are in desperate need of repair. Take pictures, write letters, etc. You make our crumbling infrastructure into a hot issue that Congress cannot afford politically to ignore. I think it's a great idea and perhaps we at Kos could work together and with other liberal groups to organize an effort like this.