It's About Jobs, Not Deficits

Tuesday, 16 November 2010 08:24 By Dave Johnson, Truthout | name.

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What is the matter with people in Washington and New York? There is obviously a jobs emergency and they're talking about deficits -- and in the middle of a frenzy of worrying about deficits they are talking about cutting taxes for the rich! ?? And, to make matters even worse, at the same time as millions are out of work with unemployment checks ending, there is an unbelievable amount of work that needs to be done modernizing our infrastructure, retrofitting homes and buildings to be energy efficient, and reviving our manufacturing base.

Is there a brain disease running loose that they aren't telling us about? Or is this really just corruption?

The Reagan/Bush debt and deficits are the fad subject of concern among our elites. The New York Times has a wonderful interactive "You Fix The Budget" deficit chart, where you can try different options (but only the ones the Times offers, few of the right ones that would work) to see how they lower future deficits. (Hint: the borrowing was caused by huge tax cuts for the rich and huge increases in military spending. Returning to pre-Reagan tax levels and pre-Soviet Union military spending are not options in the NY Times deficit game.)

Here's the thing. In New York and Washington the people in charge apparently don't know that unemployment in the country is 9.6%! Nine. Point. Six. Percent. That's only the official rate! And if you are not in New York or Washington you know that things are a lot worse than the "official" rate. If you are not in New York or Washington you know there are boarded-up houses, empty storefronts, and "For Lease" signs in front of every third or fourth office building. You know that people have used up their savings, moved in with friends and parents and go to the food bank. Americans are doing things people here never thought they would ever have to do.

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In Washington and New York -- the cities that get the bank bailouts and military contract money -- they are not talking about the jobless at all. In fact, unemployment benefits are ending, and not being renewed. Instead of addressing the emergency they are talking about cutting our Social Security, making us work even longer (as if you can even get a job when you are over 50), cutting health care, and cutting the few other lifelines We, the People built for ourselves in this country over the decades. Bankers got bailouts and bonuses.

But get this. At the same time as they are in a hysterical frenzy about deficits, the other big discussion in New York and Washington is cutting taxes?

They are in a faint about deficits, and at the same time are talking about cutting taxes, and not talking at all about the emergency all of us as experiencing: jobs, jobs, jobs, JOBS, JOBS. JOBS? In what kind of brain does talk about cutting deficits and cutting taxes happen at the same time as a terrible, terrible jobs emergency is going on, without an epiphany of realization that the entire process has gone completely off the rails?

The country needs jobs and needs its infrastructure modernized. We have work that really, really needs doing. People that really, really need work. Borrowing money is really, really cheap. And investing in a modernized infrastructure makes American business more competitive, which helps us pay off the debt.

Washington and New York people: If you are not talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs and JOBS then you are not talking about anything that matters. It is time for a bold jobs plan. The country needs it. The people need it.

  • Take Action: On Tuesday organizations will be pushing a congressional click-to-call campaign designed to flood switchboards with demands for a one-year unemployment-benefit extension.

The details: Click to call at www.usaction.org/call Or call toll free to 1-866-606-1189

Also, please visit unemployedworkers.org and sign the Petition: Tell Congress not to cut-off 2 million Americans from unemployment benefits this holiday season.

And: Tell Congress: Don't extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy!

Last modified on Tuesday, 16 November 2010 15:48