Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rep. Conyers a reality-based legislator

Here's a press release from Congressman Conyer's office:

Washington DC- Representative John Conyers (D-Mich.) today introduced H.R. 870, the “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment & Training Act,” a comprehensive and innovative federal and local government job creation and training bill that would create millions of new jobs for the nation’s unemployed. Local jobs would be created through a partnership between the Department of Labor, state, and local governments, non-profit community organizations, and small businesses. Under the Act, jobs would be created in the fields of construction, infrastructure repairs, green jobs, education, health care, and neighborhood renovation. The Act’s Full Employment Trust Fund would provide federal funding for local community-based job creation and training initiatives until full employment is reached in the United States. The Act is deficit neutral and fully funded through a modest tax on Wall Street stock and bond transactions.
“Today, there are millions of Americans who want a job, but can’t find one,” said Conyers. “The inability to find meaningful and sustainable work strips our fellow citizens of their basic right to have access to food, housing, health care, freedom of movement, and perhaps, most importantly, the ability to pursue life with a sense of dignity and meaning. High levels of unemployment are unacceptable and immoral in the wealthiest nation in the world. Thus, I believe it is critical that the federal government empower states, local governments, non-profits, and small businesses to create jobs during an economic downturn.
My “Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act” would allow local government officials to work with community leaders to come up with an effective job creation program, based on each community’s respective needs—be it improvements in infrastructure, housing, energy efficiency, education, or health care. The private sector will also benefit if millions of new jobs are created through improvements in our nation’s aging and crumbling infrastructure. New orders for brick, concrete, steel, aluminum, and plastics mean new jobs in America’s plants and factories and a rebirth of American manufacturing.
Lastly, because we exist in a period when concerns about government debt loom large in many minds, my legislation will be fully funded by a tax on Wall Street speculation and will not add a dime to the federal debt. Wall Street was responsible for the financial crisis that began in 2008 and continues to affect us today. Having already received significant assistance from the federal government, it is only fair that Wall Street now pay Main Street back by helping put America back to work.”

Here is that rare thing of beauty-- a perfectly sensible idea proposed in Congress that is not tarnished by any pandering to special interests. Because the American people are the only beneficiaries, it doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of getting passed. And yet it could be tremendously useful to the progressive cause. We need to ask all of the Republicans and Democrats in D.C. when they plan to pass this great legislation. After they come up with some lame excuse, we need to demand they come up with an equally effective alternative or stop pretending to "represent" the people in their district.

The pace of layoffs has slowed down a bit in recent months. That is good news. Yet new hiring is still anemic, and what little hiring is taking place is mostly in the form of low-wage jobs. The kind of action proposed by Rep. Conyers, is the only way we could prime the pump enough to stimulate sufficient demand to get our Main Street economy back on track.


mlee33 said...

Why wasn't this done two years ago! We need more guys like Rep. Conyers doing the people's business!!

Cletis L. Stump said...

Ulysses, once again I would like to borrow your thoughts and words. Let me know if I may post this and I will do my best to promote this idea. Send me an e-mail or leave a comment. Cletis

cassporter said...

Where are the jobs!?!?

Ruthmarie said...

There's GOT to be something wrong. This is far too sensible and practical to come from Washington.