Mar 1, 2010
“This package is not a panacea; it’s not going to solve everything” – so said Democratic Senator Charles Schumer about the “jobs bill” just passed by the Senate. Truth be told: it’s not going to solve anything. It’s not going to provide additional jobs.
It will give businesses an eleven-month break from paying Social Security taxes for any new employee they hire. Doesn’t matter if the so-called “new” employee replaces a retired worker, or a fired worker or one who quits – so long as the employee is “new”.
In other words, companies are going to do what they were going to do anyway, even in the midst of a serious recession. They are going to replace some of the workers who always leave – but they are going to get a tax break for doing it. And many, perhaps most, companies are going to game the system, finding excuses to get rid of workers, so they can hire “new” replacements.
This isn’t a jobs bill, it’s a give-the-bosses-another-tax-break bill.
Shameless! Because the politicians are using the pretext of the crisis to give yet another gift to the corporations – and pretending to do it for us.
Outrageous! Because there is something that government could do to attack the jobs crisis, and those scheming politicians know it very well.
Every locality has water and sewer lines in such a bad state that city streets collapse into sink holes. Fix them. Put new lines in. Every state has water systems no longer able to provide water that is truly drinkable. Upgrade them. Every state has bridges that rain down concrete chunks on the heads of unsuspecting motorists. Tear those crumbling bridges down. Replace them. The roads in every city, county and state are covered with potholes, when they aren’t crumbling to bits. Repair them. Every urban area is littered with garbage and trash – so much so that human health is endangered. Clean it up.
We need all those services that localities have closed or restricted – libraries, parks, recreation centers, fire protection, day care, clinics. Open them back up again. Rebuild them. Re-staff them.
We need state offices filled with enough workers to service all those workers who lose their jobs or workers injured on the job or workers who qualify for Medicaid – and to do it immediately, without long wait times or mix-ups that never get fixed.
We need schools that provide a decent education for every child. Instead we have school systems – except those in the wealthy areas – that dump more work on each teacher. We have school systems that eliminate so-called extras, like an art class, or a science or language or vocational class; like physical education, health, library hours. Hire all the teachers needed. Start those classes and activities up again. They are not “extra.” Every big city and most rural areas have decrepit schools, ones that actually endanger the health of the children. Replace them.
The politicians pretend there is no money for all this. Yes there is. The federal government gave away or loaned 12 trillion dollars to the big banks that caused this crisis. Get it back!
The banks didn’t put that money into the economy. They used it and continue to use it to speculate, preparing the next financial collapse.
Take that 12 trillion dollars back. It came and will come from our taxes anyway.
Put that 12 trillion dollars to good use, repairing, replacing, building the things, providing the services this country needs. That would create jobs, and every job created, as wages get spent, would pull more people back into the work force.
There are millions of people who need jobs and billions of hours of work that needs to be done. Take the money from the banks.