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As the White House kicks off its national campaign to get Congress to pass modest job creation legislation, we are continuing our brainstorming session to develop a comprehensive list of ways the White House can create jobs and otherwise improve the national economy without any congressional action whatsoever. After all, even in the unlikely event that Congress passes meaningful legislation to create jobs, our economic crisis remains so acute that all available paths to recovery must be exhausted.

So far, the Daily Kos community has submitted hundreds of ideas in the comments of our campaign kickoff post yesterday, and also through our online submission form. If you thought the executive branch had only limited options to improve the economy without Congress, you might change your mind after taking a look at what has been proposed.

Here is one idea:

Require all federal purchases down to pens and toilet seats be of products made in the USA by union labor.

There were a lot of variations on this call to buy American. Hiring American was one of them:

Any bases overseas... must have all services fulfilled by US personnel.

Another common plan was to end the wars, and then use the defense budget to spend more money in America:

Use the defense budget to pay for domestic transportation repairs, since the troops need highways and bridges.  How are we going to move equipment around the country to meet defense needs if our bridges are crumbling?
It can certainly be argued that or power grid is susceptible to attack.  Use the ample defense funds to upgrade our power grid with diversified solar and wind farms and a smart power distribution network.

There were also many proposals to use executive powers to expand investments into green jobs:

Use the EPA to crack down on CO2. That will get banks (sitting on $4 trillion in idle cash) to loan to utilities to invest in green jobs. Details.

Here is a particularly concrete example of what can be done to create green jobs:

Direct the federal power agencies, Bonneville and Tennessee Valley, to work with their electric utilities to develop a no-down-payment home weatherization and efficiency program with initial loan to be repaid on monthly utility bill.

Housing was the topic of many submissions:

Immediately stop all foreclosures and give everyone the option to refinance via fannie at very low interest rates.
[C]hange policy of the federal agencies that back mortgages so that those who have been foreclosed on or forced to sell short could buy a new, smaller house and get a new mortgage on the house without waiting several years.

Here is another great thought on housing, although as the link notes that ship may have already sailed:

SPENDING the $30bn in unpsent HAMP funds might be a good idea.

There were several proposals to help small businesses, including:

Require all government contractors to pay all their vendors and suppliers on standard net-30-day terms. The recent trend to slower 60- and 90-day payment hurts small businesses and their payrolls, who don't have the working capital to float large contractors.
Make it easier for very small businesses to get loans from SBA so they can grow their business.

In a forum on this very subject last October, Lloyd Chapman presented another solid idea on helping small businesses without Congress:

Issue an executive order that would keep his campaign promise to, “end the diversion of federal small business contracts to corporate giants.”  Economists agree that the best way to stimulate the economy is to direct federal infrastructure spending to small businesses.  Ending this abuse would infuse the nation’s middle class economy with billions of dollars a month in existing federal infrastructure spending.

Here are four of the many thoughts on how the executive branch can configure some of the non-military aspects of foreign policy in order to improve the American jobs market:

Eliminate visa requirements for vacationers from South America.
Order that each and every item coming into american ports must be inspected for bombs etc, this will be paid by the manufacturer, not the gov't. Obama can cite national security, and I believe can do this as commander in chief, without congress. It will create jobs for inspectors and infrastructure and decrease savings they think they make on foreign labor.
Phased Reducuction # of H1B Visas
Use the customs service to suppress Chinese imports until China revalues its currency.

This next proposal didn't fit into a broader group, but mergers do pretty much seem to be excuses to fire workers:

Have the DOJ issue a 2 year moratorium on approving mergers on anti-trust grounds.  Each merger results in thousands of employees being fired to finance the cost of the merger.

Some commenters pointed to ideas proposed by others, such as Jack Balkin:

Build on the suggestion of CNN contributor and Yale law professor Jack Balkin: coin money and pay down the debt; inflation will make US exports more competitive and will pressure Congress to pass real stimulus.

Or Brad Delong:

Quantitative easing does not have to be done by the Fed: the Treasury can use residual TARP authority to take tail risk onto its own books as well, and should be doing so as much as possible.

Expansion does not require that the federal government spend: using Treasury (and Fed!) money to grease the financing of infrastructure and other investments by states would pay enormous dividends.

For the Treasury Secretary to announce that a weak dollar is in America's interest right now would not only boost exports, but it would immediately lead to a shift in monetary policy in Europe toward a much more expansionary profile--which would be good for the world.

As well as an extensive forum on this subject at Fire Dog Lake.

The cornucopia of possibilities becomes apparent when you consider that every idea listed above is in addition to the proposals detailed in the campaign kickoff post yesterday:

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.

Please, keep submitting your ideas in the comments or through our online form. We have the makings of a powerful list of executive branch actions to create jobs and otherwise improve the economy. Once we have the list finalized, we will submit it to the new White House We The People tool, acquire the necessary signatures, and receive an official analysis and response. None of our proposals may be adopted in the end, but working with the executive branch still feels a lot more viable than trying to get Eric Cantor to realize the benefits of Keynesianism.

Note: please remember that "without congressional action" means "without congressional action." Also, the Federal Reserve does not serve at the pleasure of the President.

Originally posted to Chris Bowers on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:12 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I think there's going to be a mortgage thing (12+ / 0-)

    coming soon.  The President mentioned it in the speech.  I'd love the concept of a "National Re-Fi"

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:18:47 PM PDT

    •  Can Executive Branch Do Such a Thing? nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CalifSherry

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 05:46:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe, maybe not. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lordcopper

        The important thing is that we have a bunch more specious reasons to criticize Obama.  If he doesn't do something obviously illegitimate like "have the DOJ issue a 2 year moratorium on approving mergers on anti-trust grounds" then we'll get to have a whole bunch of poutraged diaries.

        •  Thanks for missing the point, (0+ / 0-)

          being, there are actual things the admin could be doing. But are not.

          Why?

          How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

          by Diebold Hacker on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:08:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They can't do a lot of these things. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Justanothernyer

            Any half-sentient person should know that, or at least know enough about our system to understand that there could be serious issues w/ them.

            If the point of the diary is to put forward true claims, it fails miserably; if it's intended as a disingenuous way of criticizing Obama ("here's a list of impossible things, and if Obama doesn't do them he's a failure"), then it's at least well-crafted.

    •  Wanna make a bet on whom will be the beneficiaries (0+ / 0-)

      of this "mortgage thing", should it be realized, will be?

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:00:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  National re-fi (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      soros

      More pointless paper shuffling and transferring money from renters and future taxpayers to 'owners'. I support social welfare and unemployment, but don't ask for special favors because you 'own' a house. If I can't afford my rent, I get evicted. The same should go for homeowners.

      (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
      Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

      by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:31:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Doesn't have to be re-fi, (0+ / 0-)

      and probably for a certain percentage of underwater homeowners refi doesn't make sense anyway.

      I'm not sure if it was Steiglitz who floated the idea of allowing homeowners who are in foreclosure the opportunity to give up the mortgage and pay rent on the home instead.  Seems to me that that's a better way to keep people in homes and money in local economies.

    •  Nothing is going (0+ / 0-)

      to happen there because we already have a similar program and NOBODY is making the banks do what they agreed they were going to do.

      It's the policy stupid

      by Ga6thDem on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:22:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  After the illegal behavior from the banks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      darrow

      its hard to cope with "Obama can't do that because its against the law" comments. Bush broke all kinds of laws. Obama has continued some illegal activities as legacy operations. But when it comes to helping Americans get relief from the banksters, some say that he can't, because it might be against the law! I think its time for serious action and no more bullcrap.

      The banks falsified documents. You try doing that. The banks misled home buyers into bad house deals. Don't try that! The banks bundled and sold mortgages they didn't own. Whaaat? Now all of a sudden we are bound by the rule of law? HA.

      I should put something smart or witty here, but can't think of anything.

      by onionjim on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 05:01:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The only Re=Fi Obama Binladen wants.. (0+ / 0-)

      is the one that removes all Christian fundamentals from the current administration and puts Islamic fanatisisms in place of them. He doesn't care about anyone, or anything in the USA. He has stated as much in every interview, and speech, he has made since 2007.

      In his defense, we have some of the most ignorant people in the world, living in the US of A. Anyone who still believes any of his rhetorical bs is proof of that.

      Obama out in two-oh-one-two; pull out the pecker and stop the screw!

  •  Here's mine from my earlier diary... (9+ / 0-)

    By Executive Order President Obama can require all companies that service any federal contract to only use US citizens living in the USA for any IT, front office or back office business process related to the servicing of the federal contract.

    I've already posted it on the online form.

  •  Good ideas, but they require congress. (5+ / 0-)
    Require all federal purchases down to pens and toilet seats be of products made in the USA by union labor.

    WTO treaty and enabling statutes prohibit that.  We have a law requiring that bids be competitive and not discriminate based on nationality.
    Use the defense budget to pay for domestic transportation repairs, since the troops need highways and bridges.

    Money is spent pursuant to appropriations bills.  Appropriations bills are passed by Congress.  The President can't just reallocate funds from one allocated purpose to another.
    Direct the federal power agencies, Bonneville and Tennessee Valley, to work with their electric utilities to develop a no-down-payment home weatherization and efficiency program with initial loan to be repaid on monthly utility bill.

    Absent enabling legislation, the President can't do that.
    Immediately stop all foreclosures and give everyone the option to refinance via fannie at very low interest rates.

    That probably couldn't be done by the President and the Congress working together. (yeah, there was a moratorium during the New Deal.  I still don't think it could be done now)
    [C]hange policy of the federal agencies that back mortgages so that those who have been foreclosed on or forced to sell short could buy a new, smaller house and get a new mortgage on the house without waiting several years.

    Is that policy or set by statute?  At a minimum, it's not clear the President could do that.
    Have the DOJ issue a 2 year moratorium on approving mergers on anti-trust grounds.

    The statutes provide the criteria for approval or rejection of mergers.  A blanket moratorium would violate the law.
    •  So we have statutes that prohibit the govt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster

      from buying Made in America products IF they cost more than overseas products?

    •  Why? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gustogirl, Major Tom, LarryNM

      The president has alot more power, especially in these days, then you give him credit for. Remember, he (in his capacity as chief supervisor, if you will, of the federal government) can do all of these. It isn't a concept of law, its simply administration.

      •  I explained why. (4+ / 0-)

        He has a bully pulpit and a fair amount of regulatory power, but he's not omnipotent.  There are a number of things he can't do, as detailed above.  

        •  Sorry, you're wrong (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Major Tom, CuriousBoston, LarryNM

          The Executive is powerful. It can do pretty much anything. It has the money, not the republican congress. This is an unemployment, economic EMERGENCY, and too often the president has been timid in combating those who wish to keep America weak.

          I say do all this, and dare congress to do anything about it. By the time they get a court date, the recovery will be well under way.

          •  Uh, no (5+ / 0-)

            Saying it'll take a finite amount of time to sue him for doing it doesn't mean he has the authority to do it.

            Any action like in the OP's post will see an emergency halt from the courts and likely impeachment charges. And no, the voters will not side with him for buying American pencils when unemployment remains at 9%.

            "Only idiots believe the earth is getting warmer. Besides, they've proven it's only getting warmer because of sunspots."

            by Carnet on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:25:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Most of the power the President has (6+ / 0-)

            is delegated by Congress and subject to the provisions of the delegating act.

            He has no authority to do something except (i) execute the laws made by Congress; (ii) serve as Commander in Chief; (iii) make appointments to offices created by Congress and (iv)  conduct foreign policy within rather strict limits.

            If what you want the President to do doesn't fit in one of those four categories, you need to point to a specific law that empowers the President to act in the manner you want.

          •  Cite to Constitution, please? (4+ / 0-)

            Last time I checked, it was Democrats who maintained the quaint idea that not even the Pres is above the law. So if you say "the Pres can do X," please show us the law (or Consitutional clause) that says the Pres can do X.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:37:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's nice if we still lived in the 1700s (0+ / 0-)

              We don't. We live in a modern state with modern institutions. Technically, the constitution doesn't explicitly say the President can mandate pollution controls, or regulate CO2. Barring a total rewrite of the constitution (which I would support in theory), we must look at the constitution in a modern eye, for solving modern problems.

              •  Keep reading. (3+ / 0-)

                The Clean Air Act, a law passed by Congress and signed by the Pres (I forget which one) in the manner prescribed by the Constitution, authorizes the EPA (which is an executive branch agency under the Pres's authority) to regulate CO2...according to the Supreme Court, which heard the case and issued its decision, in accordance with its Constitutionally-prescribed role:

                Supreme Court Upholds EPA's Authority to Regulate Carbon Dioxide

                WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2011 (ENS) - The U.S. Supreme Court today reaffirmed its finding that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant subject to control under the Clean Air Act and upheld the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the greenhouse gas.


                http://www.ens-newswire.com/...

                "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:12:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  As I said, not Explicitly (0+ / 0-)

                  Regulating CO2 isn't in the constitution. It's simply implied that the federal government can make those regulations for the "common good".

                  This feeds into my overall point; we need to stop asking what the constitution allows Pres. Obama to do. We need to ask what the constitution explicitly forbids the President to do. And we need to act on those. If they don't make it though the court, so what? At least we tried, and weren't concerned about hurting Republican feelings.

                  •  Regulating pollutants (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HeyMikey, Justanothernyer

                    is based on the commerce clause (commerce meaning intercourse, and I'd say air pollution which cannot be contained within a state obviously qualifies). The phrase "common good" does not appear in the Constitution.  Wanting to live according to our fundamental law is not about being "concerned about hurting Republican feelings."

                    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

                    by David Kaib on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:30:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

                      Were we to read the Constitution in the Originalist, Textualist way, controlling CO2 wouldn't be interstate commerce. Hell, it wouldn't be commerce at all.

                      It takes a liberal reading of the consitution to classify CO2 as interstate commerce. A liberal, modern reading, one that adapts the constitution to modern day problems. This reading gives the federal government (the Executive) much, much more power then the originalist, textualist reading does.

                      I'm not so much concerned (especially with Barack Obama in office) with weather a measure to strengthen America and create jobs is explicitly constitutional. We'll figure out the constitutionality of it later, when America has no unemployment and the oligarchs are castrated and the republicans are a bad memory.

                      •  Actually, the idea that commerce (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HeyMikey

                        means intercourse, is a textualist argument (some would say originalist even here, but I find that a category largely without much analytic content.) I think the modern idea that commerce means business was not how the text was understood at the time it was adopted.  

                        Regardless, a liberal reading isn't the same as 'reading into the text what ever one likes.'  Saying the Constitution imposes limits which ought to respected does not mean adopting conservative so called originalist ideas. I find it odd to talk about the necessity for acting without regard for the Constitution when both the president on his own as well as Congress as both failing to use the tools they have and actively embracing policies that will increase unemployment.

                        Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

                        by David Kaib on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:53:31 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  You are more dangerous to decent people... (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Justanothernyer, johnny wurster

                        ...than you are to the oligarchs and Republicans you claim to oppose.

                        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

                        by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 08:01:47 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Christ. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou, Justanothernyer
            The Executive is powerful. It can do pretty much anything

            Back to high school civics with you.
    •  Your opinions, and that's all you've written, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LarryNM

      have no more bearing on this than the other writers.

      But thanks for making sure the "Obama is really helpless" faction is represented.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:04:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All of the above are great suggestions... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sporks, Nimbus, HeyMikey

    However, we need an executive with the true courage of his convictions to actualize them. Without that, they will always remain just suggestions - too bad.

  •  Encourage entrepreneurship (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CuriousBoston, IT Professional

    I went to spain and portugal this spring.  One thing I notice that US doesnt have is small restaurants or coffee shops, small shops,  sidewalk vendors, etc. It provides variety of things to eat or things to buy.  Unlike here --we have fast foods, franchises  everywhere---It is boring no variety.  US should encourage small businesses  ---single proprietorship --food trucks, etc.

    Protect Democracy. Keep lying GOP out of the People's House.

    by timber on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:12:33 PM PDT

  •  reduce H1B Visas is a big mistake (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    koszul, HeyMikey, cacophonix

    the H1B Visa program is very successful because it recruits the very best, most talented people to the US. Most of these people will create jobs in the US. They do! They also pay the highest taxes. Compared to immigration in other countries that is often dominated by the influx of the poor, the H1B Visa program concentrates on qualified people. It is very very savvy.

    The other big advantage that the US has - even in crisis - is the international climate, an amazing mix of cultures and ideas, different influences. It has allowed the US to be the most creative nation. To limit this influx would back fire. I say it out loud - limiting the HIB Visa system, particularly in research will reduce the US chances to compete internationally. It would go along very well with the GOPs anti-science program and reinforce the run to the bottom.

    The big issue that I have with the program is that the US is used to other countries training and educating their very best talents just to see them leaving to the US. Given this situation, the US does not even care much about training and educating their own talents. This has to change. We need to strengthen our own education. Introduce new education paths outside the college system that has become to expensive for the recession shaken middle class and does not produce the knowledge that a modern industry needs.

    •  Oddly, I know a number of unemployed people (8+ / 0-)

      with lots of experience in their fields who can't find employment, even as large companies have proclaimed they can't find US workers with those exact same qualifications, and brought in H1B workers instead.

      There is no incentive for the US to train or educate or even hire already trained and educated local workers when corporations can use a steady flow of cheaper H1B labor.

    •  But as a caveat (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zapus, tari

      those people I reference are not in 'research', so I you might well have a good point in terms of 'research' jobs.

      •  It's even WORSE in Ph.D. post-doc jobs. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conniptionfit, Naniboujou

        Here's a little unadvertised trick used by universities and their less regulated associated research institutes. Advertise a post-doc job for much less than even desperate US doctoral students will take, claim no US citizen wants the job, then fill it with foreign Ph.D's.  

        Again, this has been going on for at least a decade or two. Ask any domestic Ph.D.

        Even worse perhaps, at the end of the post-doc, it is made very hard to impossible for foreign workers to stay in the US for a permanent position due to other immigration policies.

        It's bad for everybody involved.

        •  Hmmm. I'm a domestic PhD (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          zapus

          got mine a little over a decade ago, if I can still count.

          While we did have a lot of foreign students, we simply didn't have a lot of American PhD students - the program was scrambling just to find any PhD students.  I was recruited from a different field, simply because I'd done some overlapping work at the bachelors' level.  So I think at least part of the post-doc argument goes in cycles, and probably varies from field to field.

          •  I am too, and don't have a personal bone to pick (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

            either. I have a job I like, and no, never took a post-doc. So all I'm saying is that large universities and corporations are taking advantage of both US citizens and foreign workers with this specific crap program.

          •  The reason U.S. students don't enroll in (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Naniboujou

            PhD programs is because the job market is not looking for that. Foreign students enroll because it is one path to the U.S. work permit via OPT, not because they have any more interest in a PhD.

            Also, why is a program scrambling to find students?  If people do not want to study a field, should the program change to provide what the population wants to study?

            It sounds like your program wants to change the population to be interested in what you are teaching instead of teaching what the population wants to learn about.

            •  The field was a boom-bust one (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Naniboujou

              I believe they had entered a 'bust cycle' and were simply trying to keep it going til they hit 'boom' again.  You can't just hire on faculty for a few years at a time and then just fire them again for a few and expect them to be available when you want them back.

              Since I wasn't really looking for a job in that field anyway, and hadn't found a job in my preferred field, I went ahead and got the degree, since the stipend from teaching intro classes was enough to keep a roof over my head during the time I was in the program.

    •  Yeah, that's a crock. Bernie Sanders has been on (5+ / 0-)

      this case like white on rice. All H1B does is kick qualified Americans out of relatively high paying tech jobs so very desperate foreign workers can replace them at half the salary or less.

      So we should tell the folks that are retraining for supposedly higher paying tech (often w/computer software or similar training in computer tech) to retrain again?  Makes absolutely no sense, and continues a race to the bottom, this time in high tech.

      No, in short, you're wrong.

      •  no, America would not be the America that we know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cacophonix

        without the immigrants and HIB visa holders.

        You underestimate how boring the US would be without the immigration of the most talented people from all over the world. And the mix of cultures, believes, different perspectives and influences is key to innovation. A really vibrant place.

        Plus, the HIB program specifically tries to catch them. If you look around in the world, it is one of the most successful programs and one key reason why the US is still the place to be. Despite the recession. Look at other countries. Their anti-immigration polices in times of crisis are even harsher. And they lose big time.

        You stop this and you have your race to the bottom. In every recession we have the anti-immigration, anti-H1B visa holder, anti-foreigner push here at dkos. It allows all the dkos progressives to vent their suppressed racism. This is harsh, maybe unfair, but allow me to make clear how strongly I feel about this.

        And yes, this is the research angle. Industry is a bit more depressing I have learned.

        •  I'm not talking about general immigration. I'm (4+ / 0-)

          specifically talking about the H1B program, not all foreign workers, and specifically not about farm labor.  Don't tar me with the anti-immigrant fervor. That's BS, and I won't even honor that with a response.

          H1B is a loser from top to bottom. You train your best and brightest and tell them there's a job at the end that they'll actually want, then they get there and it's pretty much a mirage. Like I said, Sanders is the least likely to smack immigrants in general, and he sees this program as a corporate dream.

          •  thousands of HIb go into research (0+ / 0-)

            and the universities and research institutes could not do without it. I don't know about other industries, but the H1b for research is a huge success. Huge and many spin-off companies benefit from this research, very talented, very motivated people. People we want to get into the US. We really do need these people. They will continue to make America great. Have done so in the past. In fact, all Americans are immigrants. Except for Native Americans. The funny thing is that the second generation is usually against immigrants to protect the wealth that the first generation created. You can even see this this trend in poll among Hispanics these days.

            The other sad thing is that most of the H1b holders come from Asian countries with a far better education than ours. And in most case free education. We really have to improve our education. What I am saying, lets keep the HIb visa system for research, but really improve our education. Federal funding of research could be linked more with an obligation to go into high schools etc. We have to really do something about this. The NSF is already doing this.

            No industrial nation can live without an educated electorate either. What we see with the successful anti-science assault by the GOP and the teaparty, the campaign against global warming is only possible thanks to an educational decay. Candidates like Palin and Bachmann are a complete joke to most industrialized nations. Stunning that they can be successful. Lets do something about this.

            •  This post is full of falsehoods and insults (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zapus

              1. "most of the H1b holders come from Asian countries with a far better education than ours"

              This is absolutely false. The U.S. has a 99% literacy rate, while India has a 74% literacy rate  and China has a 95.9 literacy rate.
              The U.S. mandates the education of ALL children, China and India do not.  The U.S. does not need to model it's education system on that of third world countries.

              The U.S. does not need the H-1B system for research. By making it worthwhile for U.S. citizens to enter research fields, the U.S. simply has to raise the salaries.  The NSF will not raise compensation while there is an unlimited supply of foreign students willing to work for nothing more than a small survival stipend and a chance to get a U.S. work permit.  

              What the U.S. is willing to pay for a skill, shows the value of that skill.  U.S. students pay attention to this.

              I also notice that you freely interchange H-1B with immigrant.  They are not the same.

              Can you point to any inventions by an H-1B?

              •  Go into any university and you are surrounded by (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                cacophonix

                them. They are very good. Many patents come from them. Apparently we have an IT university divide here - I believe you what you see. Please believe me. Universities do need the H1b program. More details. Many come with an J1, but may need to transition to an H1b after a couple of years. Many later become faculty, drive our research. Excellent people we like to keep in the US.

                Yes, China is big and polar and the poverty of the land can destabilize China any day really. However, look at the urban centers. Shanghai won the school competition - had the highest scores. South Korea etc, they outperform Americans by a wide margin. Admission to universities these days are often an affirmative action program for Americans. We really lost it. They are better. Don't be blind. Question is how innovative they are if you ask me. How balanced as a personality they are, how free to really invent something. But they are extremely smart and they learn the other things from us. If we can bind them to the US, we will benefit greatly.

                http://www.nytimes.com/...

                Also, it is not cool to be an engineer, scientist in the US. In India it is. An entire generation of kids grows up finding this cool, wanting to invent the next thing. They are excited. Not our kids. How can we change this? We need to excite our kids about science again. Yes we are facing on of the most brutal anti-science climate I have ever seen in this country.

        •  OK, now I'm getting even more angry. You just (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          IT Professional, Utahrd

          called me a racist, so I'll terminate ever talking to you again. What a bunch of crap. H1B is well known as a corporate tool against both US and foreign students/workers.

          Goodbye.

        •  Tari, you are wrong. H-1b is used for entry level (5+ / 0-)

          positions for the most part.  There is an O-1 visa program for the best and brightest.

          The H-1B program started 20 years ago. America has been great long before that and will be great if the H-1B program was cancelled today.

          H-1B workers are ordinary workers doing ordinary work.  The difference is that they are beholden to a company, without the freedom to complain about working conditions, as a U.S. or green card holder is able to.

        •  If you feel so strongly about it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conniptionfit, zapus, IT Professional

          You might support your position with some objective evidence that what you say is true.

          My own anecdotal experience and what I hear from friends in IT corresponds with what those who are debating with you say.

          And I am no racist. That you throw that out shows a desperate attempt to 'be right' but don't really have a strong argument or support for your assumptions. I am sniffing a little self-interest or bias in your rather overly strong comments.

          And the best you can come up with now is that America would be boring without the immigrants here on H1Bs? Really? Your life, maybe.

          •  I tried to respond to the above comments (0+ / 0-)

            I was wrong to drop the raci_. I was shocked to see this very same discussion and the anti-immigrant rants in 2008 on this site. And now the same stuff comes up again. It is the best sign that the economic situation is terrible again. If people are hurting they always go against immigrants first. And the H1b visa program is always the first. Again, it is a huge success in basic research. I have been at a number of universities in the US. You can trust me with this, it is a success. Cannot speak about the IT sector. Maybe this is where our misunderstanding comes from. I need to learn more about the H1b program in the IT sector. And what the numbers are, how the program is allocated. Ted Kennedy was a huge supporter of the H1b program. I know this from Boston. And he always pointed out that they pay the highest tax rate. He was right.  

            •  very much you need to learn more about (4+ / 0-)

              the H1b program in the IT sector.  

              I work in IT and I absolutely LOVE the oversees IT people I work with.  But, make no mistake, they are NOT hired because they are superior to the American worker--they are hired because they come cheaper than the American worker.  It is ALL about the money, benefits, and pensions.

              And when people are let go--it isn't usually the H1b worker who takes the hit.  It is the company employee who has the greater knowledge and experience in that system, saving money (at least on paper) for the company.

              Peace will come when the Republicans will love America's children more than they love their money.

              by Naniboujou on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 04:59:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  old post but I'll respond (0+ / 0-)

              Again, you seem to be emotional about this. I'd appreciate a disclosure on your part about the issue.

              As someone pointed out below, we (as people concerned about people here in the US) think we have talented people here who might be given greater opportunities if it were not simply more convenient and cheaper for some to import that work... whether medical research or IT.

              I have heard the same thing others say with first-hand experience. The H1B people come here and work for less than Americans and yet they are being exploited as well, because they are stuck paying for things US price-wise without US level salaries. Many are forced to live nearby their workplaces and rely on our 'public transportation' which is not what it could/should be ---- and if you pay attention to what has been reported, many fill out their initial obligations and go straight back to their countries because of these things.

              And still nothing offered from you but what seems to be a personal opinion propped up with T. Kennedy's approval? Yeah. I'm still not buying.

          •  yup, it would be boring (0+ / 0-)

            this is why China will never be as innovative. They may produce cheap, but such a homogenous culture without democracy will never be innovative. How many Blacks are in China? Do you know how many Chinese and even Germans couldn't believe Obama won? No way this would happen in China or in Germany. There is no representation of the 10% Muslim living in the French democracy. None. Go to Europe and many countries are much more homogenous racially, with less immigration and they are not vibrant places. This is really why America is one of the most innovative places. A vibrant place, melting point of ideas and cultures. We have many problems to solve, but tossing out our strengths would be wrong.

            •  H-1B is not necessary for immigration. (0+ / 0-)

              The H-1B visa can be completely scrapped without affecting the diversity of immigration to the U.S.

              In fact, 60% of H-1B recipients come from a single country! There should be a per country cap for H-1B just like for permanent resident approvals.

              It would be better for all  work related visas to be stopped when there is high unemployment.  Why would this be wrong?

              •  everything is wrong with it (0+ / 0-)

                at least for research. I call out on you to stop the nonsense. Ted Kennedy, can't you rise from the ground and help me convince IT professional? Ted knew how very important the program was. They are thousands H1bs in the Boston universities and hospitals.  

                Plus MDs actually. Many - look at the hospitals. Go into any hospital and start asking. Again, what is usually happening there is that they enter with a J1, but at some point they need to transition. All this keeping the best here is also covered by the H1b program before they transition to green card, faculty positions etc.

                Restrict it for IT - fine with me. Don't expand your conclusion to the research area and our hospitals. You remove the influx of the very best from all over the world and you reduce our chances to be the best. Getting them into the US generates jobs. Offering them a perspective is what makes us different from Germany that remains hostile to them.

                •  Restricting employment related immigration (0+ / 0-)

                  allows the best and brightest in the U.S. to enter those fields.

                  Your mistake is your assumption that there are no equally bright people in the U.S. to become doctors and engage in research.

                  Ted Kennedy was a politician, who was lobbied by various special interests, to help him "know how important the program" is.  He was not on the ground to see the other side of the program. I am on the ground.

                  I am in IT, not medicine. That doesn't mean I can't care about my fellow citizens whose professions are being flooded with foreign temporary labor who will accept less compensation, and lower working conditions in exchange for a U.S. work permit.

            •  I've been to Europe (0+ / 0-)

              Lived there 4 years and went back to visit. I wonder how long you spend there because my experience was very different. Jeez. I couldn't believe Obama won and I voted for him!

              The Chinese may have a homogenous culture, but they're not stupid. They beat us to the solar panel industry. Our loss.

  •  Savings through private does not always mean good (4+ / 0-)

    For example ---Medicare or Defense dept has a budget for a certain service for $1B.  Now to save money and reduce deficit it contracts a private company or medicare advantage for $950M.  Now this private company will outsource $400M to India to  earn a profit.  Now we have a situation where Govt saves $50M but the net effect to the economy is bad.  Instead of $1B dollars going to the US economy we now only have $600M because of outsourcing.  

    Protect Democracy. Keep lying GOP out of the People's House.

    by timber on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:17:12 PM PDT

  •  Let's go the no-interest one better (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HeyMikey, Calamity Jean

    Why not have the TVA et al. empower a Corps to make home energy improvements, and then make a determination (this will pay off in 5 years, 7 years, 20 years), which would mean that there'd be no net change to electric bills, at least in relation to the upgrades? That's the key -- to not cost the rate-payer for efficiencies.

    That is, in this model, if the duration of the cost of the upgrade (say, in-wall insulation) was high, and took 20 years to pay off, the savings would occur immediately to the power company (and hence the power bill), but could have a 20-year equivalent small fee associated with the energy bill -- but (and this is important) the homeowner would not see a rise in their bill. Ditto the 5-year, or 7-year improvement (water heater, windows, for example).

    The energy providor would be, essentially, providing an interest-free loan to the homeowner for the duration of the energy that s/he would not use, in exchange for not needing to produce that energy.

    Ought to be doable.

    Laughing at the horror of environmental collapse: ApocaDocs.com:
    6000+ news items be-quipped, since 2008.

    by mwmwm on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:21:22 PM PDT

  •  Dump NCLB and SES tutoring. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conniptionfit, Naniboujou

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:21:35 PM PDT

  •  The good and the bad in all of this (0+ / 0-)

    1.

    Require all federal purchases down to pens and toilet seats be of products made in the USA by union labor.
     With only 11.9% of the labor force represented by unions, this would be a very big limitation and wouldn't be feasible.  http://www.bls.gov/...

    2.  

    Use the defense budget to pay for domestic transportation repairs, since the troops need highways and bridges. How are we going to move equipment around the country to meet defense needs if our bridges are crumbling?
     This is absolute genius.  I absolutely LOVE it.  And, the House leadership would have no say-so in this matter...or, at least it doesn't seem so.

    3.  

    Build on the suggestion of CNN contributor and Yale law professor Jack Balkin: coin money and pay down the debt; inflation will make US exports more competitive and will pressure Congress to pass real stimulus.
     I can't see any way that printing more money in an effort to create inflation would be positive in America.  I know that there is a minority that have what appears to be good arguments in this....but, in the long run and by most economists' beliefs (I hold an MBA/economics), this is a wrong-thinking direction.

    4.  

    Require all government contractors to pay all their vendors and suppliers on standard net-30-day terms. The recent trend to slower 60- and 90-day payment hurts small businesses and their payrolls, who don't have the working capital to float large contractors
     EXCELLENT

    5.  

    Order that each and every item coming into american ports must be inspected for bombs etc, this will be paid by the manufacturer, not the gov't. Obama can cite national security, and I believe can do this as commander in chief, without congress. It will create jobs for inspectors and infrastructure and decrease savings they think they make on foreign labor.

    This would make the cost of goods coming into our country increase massively.  It could be an "end around" putting tarrifs on imports...but, who's to say this won't just be enacted by our trading partners?  NOT a good idea.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:22:38 PM PDT

  •  Cutting the wars and other wasteful spending... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, Calamity Jean, johnny wurster

    ...is a good idea. There are other good ones, too, and many that show monumental economic illiteracy and cluelessness.

    (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
    Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

    by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:23:45 PM PDT

    •  Eat the bankers? I'd take my chances. (0+ / 0-)

      How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

      by Diebold Hacker on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:21:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It would only cut the deficit. The President (0+ / 0-)

      would still need Congress to appropriate the funds for another purpose.

      "Because I am a river to my people."

      by lordcopper on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:27:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lolwut (0+ / 0-)

        Cutting useless or counterproductive spending is a good idea on it's own merits, even if the money just goes into a bank account.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:20:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But it won't create jobs. I think we've proved (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Kaib, Justanothernyer

          that reducing deficits at a time of recession is counter productive to job growth, even if its wasteful spending.

          "Because I am a river to my people."

          by lordcopper on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 06:41:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (0+ / 0-)

            I oppose wasteful spending all the time no matter what. Everyone in our economy has to figure out a way to actually make a contribution. Our economy only works when people are making net productive contributions, not make work 'contributions'.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 01:21:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Massive unemployment (0+ / 0-)

              which is a product of macroeconomic policy, prevents everyone form making as full of a contribution as they are able to.  Yet your call for less spending is a call to increase unemployment, and thereby ensure even more people are prevented from making that contribution.  Nothing could be more wasteful than refusing to use the vast unused capital in our society to employ the vast unused labor to achieve important unmet needs (like dealing with our crumbling infrastructure, addressing our brittle electric grid, or creating a more resilient and less destructive energy system).  Which is to say your stated goals are inconsistent with your policy positions.  

              No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources.  Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance.  Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order. FDR

              Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

              by David Kaib on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 01:43:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Our OWN action item (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CuriousBoston, Naniboujou

    KEEP THIS SERIES OF POSTS AT THE TOP OF THE COMMUNITY LIST FOR AS LONG AS IT RUNS!!!!

  •  Not exactly a 'pro-jobs' suggestion, but I would (10+ / 0-)

    suggest not hiring any mercenaries for anything.  There should be no contracts to 'Xe'.  Our own military should protect State Department personnel.  Mercenaries are not bound by the military code of justice, do not have the same discipline or loyalties, and should not be protected by our government when they commit atrocities, but will be if we keep contracting them.  

    If we need 'paramilitary personnel' at domestic disasters, bring the National Guard home and let them do what they were trained to do, not fight wars they had no business ever being a part of.

  •  From the Kuttner piece Chris linked to (5+ / 0-)
    Several laws on the books already prohibit theft of wages and phony classification of permanent workers as temps or contract hires and guarantee the right to organize or join a union and to be paid a minimum wage. None of these statutes is adequate, but under George W. Bush, the executive branch did its best not to enforce them.

    [snip]

    The other source of leverage, potentially much more effective, is government's power as a contractor. The U.S. government spends half a trillion dollars a year to buy goods and services from the private sector. Federal procurement, directly or indirectly, influences about one job in four in the entire economy. And most large national companies do business with the government. That goes for service companies such as FedEx; big corporations providing security guards; manufacturing companies that make everything from airplane parts to uniforms; and food-processing companies that provide school lunches. A whole other set of corporations, such as nursing-home chains, are indirect recipients of federal grants under Medicaid.

    There is legal authority here - maybe not as much as we would like, but not nothing either.  

    As FDR said:

    no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:30:34 PM PDT

    •  Fantastic quote! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean
      As FDR said:

          no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.

      How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

      by Diebold Hacker on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:23:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  along those lines (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, Naniboujou

      ..and maybe only going off on a tangent a little ... is one of my favorite questions for r-wingers.

      Don't you think that someone working full time, doing a job that is needed, should be able to pay for basic needs in life (food, shelter, and transportation to/from work and home and at least some basic medical care/insurance)? Then, if we also dismantle such programs as SS and Medicare that these same people be paid enough on top of meeting today's basic needs to put away funds for those requirements of old age?

      If our 'free market' doesn't provide that is it actually working? If society acts to provide a safety net to those working hard/full time to make up for wages that are too low to provide their basic living, are we not subsidizing the 'free market' and the employers?

      The minimum wage should be a livable wage if you want to get rid of social programs.

  •  this requires a President... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sporks

    who cares about creating jobs.  All he cares about is getting elected... why should he listen to your ideas... what are you going to do?  Vote for him with slightly less enthusiasm?

  •  Links for Jack Balkin "coin money" proposal: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CuriousBoston
    Build on the suggestion of CNN contributor and Yale law professor Jack Balkin: coin money and pay down the debt; inflation will make US exports more competitive and will pressure Congress to pass real stimulus.

    Links:
    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/...

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:32:56 PM PDT

  •  Congress appropriates for a specific purpose (4+ / 0-)
    Use the defense budget to pay for domestic transportation repairs ...

    It's a great idea, and absolutely what we should do, but the Executive branch can't reprogram money unilaterally like that. Unfortunately, Congress is required.

    Same comment on some of the other ideas.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 06:46:30 PM PDT

  •  Trade with Cuba? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    prgsvmama26, HeyMikey, sporks, LarryNM

    Can the President just not extend the trade embargo on Cuba? I don't know the latest status but look at this from September 2nd, 2010:

    "SUBJECT:  Continuation of the Exercise of Certain Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy Act

    Under section 101(b) of Public Law 95-223 (91 Stat. 1625; 50 U.S.C. App. 5(b) note), and a previous determination on September 11, 2009 (74 FR 47431, September 16, 2009), the exercise of certain authorities under the Trading With the Enemy Act is scheduled to terminate on September 14, 2010.

    I hereby determine that the continuation for 1 year of the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba is in the national interest of the United States.

    Therefore, consistent with the authority vested in me by section 101(b) of Public Law 95-223, I continue for 1 year, until September 14, 2011, the exercise of those authorities with respect to Cuba, as implemented by the Cuban Assets Control Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 515.

    The Secretary of the Treasury is authorized and directed to publish this determination in the Federal Register.

    BARACK OBAMA"

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/...

  •  A couple quick points: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, johnny wurster
    Any bases overseas... must have all services fulfilled by US personnel.
    Status of Forces agreements would prevent that, as the requirement to hire X number of locals is part of the treaties that allow US bases in other countries. That many services are provided by host nation employees is by design; Giving the host nation an economic interest in having US forces stationed there, Americans working with locals (hearts and minds), etc.
    Have the DOJ issue a 2 year moratorium on approving mergers on anti-trust grounds.  Each merger results in thousands of employees being fired to finance the cost of the merger.
    This seems extreme. Most mergers are done to save a company - they wouldn't merge if they didn't have to. The long term impact of "freezing" mergers would be potentially far more devastating, IMHO.
    Order that each and every item coming into american ports must be inspected for bombs etc, this will be paid by the manufacturer, not the gov't. Obama can cite national security, and I believe can do this as commander in chief, without congress. It will create jobs for inspectors and infrastructure and decrease savings they think they make on foreign labor.
    This one is effing brilliant. Love it!

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 07:22:26 PM PDT

  •  It will also raise prices & eliminate other jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, johnny wurster
    Order that each and every item coming into american ports must be inspected for bombs etc, this will be paid by the manufacturer, not the gov't. Obama can cite national security, and I believe can do this as commander in chief, without congress. It will create jobs for inspectors and infrastructure and decrease savings they think they make on foreign labor.

    This would cost Walmart and Home Depot 15 minutes worth of profits.

    Therefore, it will not happen.

    It will also increase costs for importers, who will pass on these costs on to consumers when they can.

    It will also cause other countries to retaliate against the US, eliminating jobs in US companies that export; like mine.

  •  "Any bases overseas... must have all services.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    fulfilled by US personnel."

    Typically, part of the agreement with the country that hosts the base overseas is the employment of local nationals.

    The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'. ~ Larry Hardiman

    by shel3364 on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:13:53 PM PDT

    •  That is the way it should be...however, (0+ / 0-)

      in reality, neither seems to happen.

      How many times did we hear about bombs going off in the Green zone--and it was foreign workers who were killed?

      Corporations play the same games in other countries that they do here--insisting that they can't find enough locals to hire, so they are forced to bring in workers from other countries to fill the need.  And somehow these other workers always happen to be from poorer countries whose citizens are willing to work for sub-minimum wages.

      Peace will come when the Republicans will love America's children more than they love their money.

      by Naniboujou on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 05:14:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Homestead Act of 2012 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    The Fed controls upwards of 200,000+ defaulted home mortgages.  Have the Fed and HUD implement a system similar to the original Homestead act (or 40 acres and a mule) and give these houses away to unemployed, underemployed, minimum wage citizens.

    1). These people are not active competitors in the housing market, so they will not drive home values down. In fact, as 200,000+ homes become occupied, values of existing homes would likely go up.

    2). Stipulate that these new occupants must spend money on improving the property. This means all previous rental monies go directly into the economy from purchases of hardware goods and services.

    3). After a set amount of time, the deed to the property is passed from the Feds to the new owners if said owners can prove they've made significant improvements to the property.

    *yes, I do realize the unsavory aspects of the original Homestead Act...but the idea remains the same here without the displacement of Native populations.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:23:53 PM PDT

  •  We can't even get Obama (0+ / 0-)

    to realize the benefits of Keynesianism!

    As far as Cantor, we can't get him to realize the benefits of disaster relief.

    What I'd love to do is primary the bastard.  There must be a Republican in his district who believes in extending aid to Americans who have been visited by a natural disaster.

    Nowhere do I understand that national security is a substitute for the law.---Thomas Drake You cannot tell from appearances how things will go.--Winston Churchill

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:30:42 PM PDT

  •  BTW, Chris (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David Kaib

    This is possibly the best diary I've seen on DK in more than a year.

    We should be doing this sort of thing all the time when our government frustrates us.  Much better than just griping (though I don't object to griping!)

    Nowhere do I understand that national security is a substitute for the law.---Thomas Drake You cannot tell from appearances how things will go.--Winston Churchill

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 10:33:35 PM PDT

  •  Trade Agreements (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnny wurster

    Require all federal purchases down to pens and toilet seats be of products made in the USA by union labor.

    I'm pretty sure that would violate NAFTA, GATT, etc.

  •  Obama could create thousands of jobs nationwide. (0+ / 0-)

    By paying campaign workers.

    They plan on spending upwards of $100 Million dollars on this campaign. How about they don't buy the television network they bought last time and instead find those people who worked their asses off last time around. If they're unemployed or under employed, employ their ass. They're dedicated to the cause they deserve some payback for the amazing work they did last time. You want them in your corner again.

    Easy way to create a ton of jobs, even though they would be temporary. And the GOP can't say shit cause it would all be campaign money.

    We lose if we choose to forget; the lives of men, and money spent.

    by DeanDemocrat on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 11:06:34 PM PDT

  •  I wouldn't hold my breath. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    Using the full power of the Executive to bypass Republican and Conservadem intransigence,  in order to pursue populist economic policies, is not this Administration's style.

    Look at the debt ceiling fiasco. The Administration refused to use either the 14th Amendment or the platinum coin seigniorage solutions. Rather than take such bold action, the Obama Administration chose a course of action that completely nullified one of the Democrats' longest lived and most powerful advantages over the Republican Party: the defense of Social Security and Medicare.

    This "pragmatic" solution to the debt ceiling "crisis" was a colossal failure in realpolitik.

    Of course if someone thinks that the Obama Administration has been doing a great job over the last 32 nonths, then they really don't see any reason to change a strategy that has been working so well.

    While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

    by xynz on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 12:11:08 AM PDT

  •  Enforce it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Naniboujou
    Buy American Act

    The Buy American Act (BAA - 41 U.S.C. §§ 10a–10d) passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Roosevelt, required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases. Other pieces of Federal legislation extend similar requirements to third-party purchases that utilize Federal funds, such as highway and transit programs.
    In certain government procurements, the requirement purchase may be waived if the domestic product is more expensive than an identical foreign-sourced product by a certain percentage, if the product is not available domestically in sufficient quantity or quality, or if doing so is in the public interest.
    The President has the authority to waive the Buy American Act within the terms of a reciprocal agreement or otherwise in response to the provision of reciprocal treatment to U.S. producers. Under the 1979 General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) Government Procurement Code, the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement, and the World Trade Organization (WTO) 1996 Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the United States provides access to the government procurement of certain U.S. agencies for goods from the other parties to those agreements. However, the Buy American Act was excluded from the GPA's coverage.
    The Buy American Act is not to be confused with the very similarly named Buy America Act, which came into effect in 1983. The latter, a provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982, is 49 U.S.C., section 5323 (j), and applies only to mass-transit-related procurements valued over US$100,000 and funded at least in part by federal grants.[1]

    For the provision of the 2009 US stimulus bill, see American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009#Buy American provision.

    Yes we can, but he won't.

    by dkmich on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 03:44:36 AM PDT

  •  I like idea number one: (0+ / 0-)
    Require all federal purchases down to pens and toilet seats be of products made in the USA by union labor.

    I work in the defense industry, writing software that helps the DoD document substandard or faulty parts and equipment that they receive from vendors.

    And we just needed to add some functionality to our software that takes care of a rapidly growing problem: counterfeit parts.

    It seems it's extremely easy (and profitable) for manufacturers to grab a discarded circuit board out of a scrap yard, polish it up, and then sell a bunch of them to businesses that (in turn) sell them to our military. The bulk of these parts come from manufacturers based in China.

    So for all the whining that Republicans will do, about companies not having the capacity or manpower to manufacture such items, and having to spend money to get there, it seems to me that one powerful counterargument would be that by manufacturing the parts here, we're ensuring our soldiers remain safe.

    Regards,
    Corporate Dog

    -----
    We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

    by Corporate Dog on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 03:58:22 AM PDT

    •  Can't do it. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justanothernyer

      The Government Procurements Agreement of the WTO Tokyo round, which became part of domestic law through the Trade Agreements Act, precludes discrimination in favor of US companies and against foreign signatories of the GPA.  There is an exception to this for national security, but it'd be hard to maintain that, say, office supplies need to be purchased from a US company for national security reasons.

  •  Biggest obstacle to small business growth...Taxes (0+ / 0-)

    Specifically the requirement to pay income tax on retained profits used to purchase new equipment and materials or otherwise grow a business. This was a major headache for our company. We earned money and used it to buy building space, equipment, and pay worker wages but we had to scramble and pay income tax on it anyway. This is  an anchor for real small business growth. If treated like deferred capital gains (not withstanding what the CG tax rate ought to be) it gets taxed when harvested instead of when earned. This would be a tremendous economic generator that cuts borrowing institutions and their overburden out of the loop and I believe it would increase tax revenue in the long run.

    The chicken farmer analogy works here. A farmer grows corn to feed his chickens. Chicken manure goes back into the fields to fertilize the corn. Our tax code now wants a cut of not only the chickens but the corn and manure, too. Just tax the chickens and there would be a lot more workers tending the fields, not to mention more chickens.

  •  This discussion continues to break out (0+ / 0-)

    elsewhere.  Here's Andrew Leonard at Salon. I think it's definitely worth investigating the possibilities for using Fannie and Freddie to leverage refinancing, given that the collapse of the housing bubble is the most important cause of the jobs crisis.  And if this could be coupled with spending the HAMP money that was already appropriated (assuming that is not too late), it would be even better.  

    Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

    by David Kaib on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 05:48:22 AM PDT

  •  So, why isnt Obama doing some/all these things? (0+ / 0-)
    •  A better question (0+ / 0-)

      is why activists, unions, members of Congress, commentators and the White House have all failed to engage in much discussion of these sorts of possibilities until fairly recently.  Indeed, the possibility has been raised in a few high profile places (the American Prospect, the Center for American Progress) yet generally ignored.  It's not as if people have been demanding this and the White House has refused such demands.  

      That's not a defense of Obama.  But it's important to see that whatever is going on, it's not limited to one man.  

      Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.

      by David Kaib on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 06:07:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  all national parks gift shops sell 'made in US' (0+ / 0-)

    instead of 'American' souvenirs  made in  China, why not support american artists and craftsmen. yes , we are out here and we make quality items.
    steady business means we could hire employees or take on apprentices.

  •  One year of "civics" for high school graduation (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure the Dept. of Education can mandate this without funding, but if every high school student had to take a comprehensive citizenship class, it would surely mean more teachers would get work.

    The class I would like to see would include the classic civics class type material but with an emphasis on the practical and hands on.  Registering to vote and jury service would be focused on and real world issues that citizens face would be added.  The issues would include:
    Unions - history, how they are formed, specifics
    Tax returns - planning claiming deductions, fed vs state
    Getting arrested - or not, posting bail, search warrants
    Banking - savings, balancing accts, credit, loans
    Media - traditional, new, social, wise use, detecting bs
    Public Service - volunteering, civil service, armed services
    and so on.

    Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer

    by CalbraithRodgers on Sat Sep 10, 2011 at 09:42:54 AM PDT

  •  large scale eminent domain grab (0+ / 0-)

    take people in risk of foreclosure at the proper price (vs the inflated price the bank 'papers' say it is.)
    let people reclaim thier homes with the new bank with some profit share deal.

  •  You Democrazies just don't get it.. (0+ / 0-)

    nor do any of you Repubutards: We do not need any of you to fix what needs to be done. We can all sit back and enjoy our tax-free states by not electing any of you greedy cash-whores to office. Just think of that issue: No payments to taxes to cover political interests for 4 whole years. The IRS is disbanded. Any and all Government loans are immediately due by said statesman who addresses said issue first. Let's make Congress pay for its own damn issues first, out of their own corporate pockets. Let's see if big business and unions will fork over money to cover these enormous debts by people who think less of their ways and means, and only speak to them on behalf of their beleaguered communities. Wake up morons! The politicians of today do not care about the people they represent! They only care about how much money they can steal from everyone concerned. Oh how I miss the days of the mob. When the mob got involved, politicians walked the straight and narrow for fear of being killed in the night. We need them to feel that fear again. Then, maybe, we as citizens can be proud of our Government of Idiots.

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