While a campaign on behalf of stimulative measures to create jobs is unquestionably worth a try, it will be extremely difficult to convince this Congress to go along with any new legislation other than cutting taxes for the rich, taking away entitlements from everyone, continuing to slash non-military discretionary spending, and granting big corporations more items from their regulatory wish list. That's just where Congress is right now.
Personally, I've had enough of this Congress. The only thing exciting about the legislative branch these days are the protesters swarming around the public events held by its members. I really don't want to hear about how much more they think we should all hand over to big corporations and the wealthy so that our overlords can create a bunch of low-wage jobs in other countries.
So let's forget about Congress for a moment. Instead, let's put our heads together and come up with a comprehensive list of the ways the executive branch can create jobs, and otherwise improve the economy, without Congress doing anything at all. Post your ideas, or links to any ideas you have seen elsewhere, in the comments. If you are either not registered or would simply prefer to use a less public submission form, then send in your ideas here.
If we can put together a solid list of workable ideas, I will turn them into a petition on the new White House engagement tool We The People. From that point, if we can hit the relatively low threshold of 5,000 signatures, then the White House will review our proposals and issue an official response. While what the executive branch can do on its own is undoubtedly limited, and while our ability to convince the executive branch to take any actions we suggest is also likely limited, this path feels a lot more hopeful than either debating messaging or trying to convince Eric Cantor to do the right thing.
The executive branch is already in the process of trying to find ways to take action on jobs without Congress. In June, the White House Council on Jobs released a series of recommendations on how to increase employment without new legislation. Just last week, President Obama directed "several federal agencies to identify 'high-impact, job-creating infrastructure projects' that can be expedited now, without congressional approval." Additionally, last year Robert Kuttner discussed how high-road contracting and tougher enforcement of labor laws could improve many existing jobs without Congress doing anything at all. Earlier this week, former White House advisor Jared Bernstein endorsed Kutnner's ideas.
In summary, there are real ideas on how to create jobs and otherwise improve the economy without Congress, the executive branch is actively looking for these ideas, and now the White House has an avenue where we can submit such ideas and receive an official response. So, let's find as many of these ideas as we can and see what we can do to make them happen.
Post whatever ideas you can find in the comments or, if you would rather, send them in through this form.