This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.
The economy is stuck. We need jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs. Not tax cuts.
The government released the July Employment Situation Summary and it isn’t great.
First, in context, before the stimulus we were losing around 800,000 jobs a month. The problem is that the stimulus is fading and structural changes were not made in how the economy operates. So there is no special reason to point to that makes people think that this stagnation won’t continue or even get worse again.
Eric Lotke sums up the numbers,
Unemployment remains unchanged at 9.5 percent, with 14.6 million people out of work. In July, we lost 202,000 jobs in the government sector as the census winds down, and we gained 71,000 jobs in the private sector. African American unemployment grew fractionally worse to 15.6 percent, and teenagers to 26.1 percent.
We know what we need to do. Put people to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. Fix our potholed roads, our overcrowded schools and our bursting water mains. Create new infrastructure like wind turbines and solar cells. Lay the tracks for high speed rail, the 21st century parallel to the interstate highways of the 20th century and the transcontinental railroads of the 19th. And make the parts in America! Put us to work building our economy of the future, like our grandparents did for us.
Yes, it will cost money. But don’t worry, money is out there. Those top-end Bush tax cuts are worth $43 billion annually. Restoring the estate tax for multi-millionaires brings in $50 billion. A financial transaction tax brings in $177 billion annually, and stabilizes our financial system to boot. Draw down our troops and rein in Pentagon procurements gives us another $100 billion every year for productive endeavors. That’s without even trying bold new sources of revenue. More progressive taxation at the top end. Confronting corporate power and redirecting subsidies that go to agriculture, oil and pharmaceutical giants. Ferreting out the rest of those tax subsidies for moving production offshore. We can do this.
What, you say? Give people government jobs fixing up infrastructure? Yes, because infrastructure is government’s job. As Atrios says today,
I’m not going to deny the importance of private sector job growth, but there’s no reason to see private sector jobs as somehow superior to public sector jobs. More than that, plenty of private sector jobs really are “government jobs,” from contractors in the military-intelligence industrial complex to private highway construction workers. Plenty of jobs and companies wouldn’t exist without government spending, however they’re technically classified.
It’s The JOBS, Stupid! Why DC Elites Don’t See This? Come on, people, the jobs answer is right in front of you. There is work that needs doing, and there are people out of work. There are Ten Million Jobs Needed – Ten Million Jobs That Need Doing!
Tax the wealthy and Wall Street to pay to fix up our infrastructure. Tax Cuts Leave Nothing Behind — Infrastructure Investment Leaves Behind Infrastructure. Not only that, Tax Cuts Caused The Deficits, Therefore…
Connect the dots.
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