Enough is enough. Year after year we're seeing more and more jobs lost. In the private sector, companies are sitting on trillions of dollars in cash and still not creating jobs while the Tea Party and Republicans refuse to close even the most egregious tax loopholes. Meanwhile, as you can see in the chart above, the public sector is hemorrhaging jobs due to austerity measures taken by state and local officials. If we are going to turn this around, we must be in the fight. Below are the two paths ahead of us. Please choose wisely.
Path #1 Jobs Creation
· Rep. Jan Schakowski (D-IL) has written a jobs bill which aims to create over 2 million jobs to address the real problem facing America - the Jobs Crisis. It would create emergency jobs for two years, to provide time to get the economy back up and running. Here are more details:
· School Improvement Corps – Creates 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs through new funding to public school districts for needed school rehabilitation improvements ($100 billion)
· Park Improvement Corps – Creates 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service’s Public Lands Corps Act. Conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational and scenic resources. ($400 million)
· Student Jobs Corps – Creates 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program. ($850 million)
· Health Corps - Grants to hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in under-served rural and urban areas. ($8 billion)
· Community Corps – Creation of a new Community Corps that will create 750,000 jobs to do needed work in our communities, including energy audits and conservation upgrades, recycling and reclamation of reusable materials, urban land reclamation and addressing blight, including foreclosure and disaster-affected areas, rural conservation work, public property maintenance and beautification, housing rehabilitation, and new housing construction modeled after Habitat for Humanity. ($60 billion)
· Neighborhood Heroes Corps
o Teachers: Direct funding to states to hire, re-hire, and prevent lay-offs of 300,000 teachers. ($40 billion)
o Cops: New funding to hire 40,000 police officers. ($10 billion)
o Firefighters: New funding to hire 12,000 firefighters. ($2.4 billion)
The cost is set at $221 Billion ($110.5 billion for each of fiscal years 2012 and 2013). Which can be fully paid for through separate legislation such as Rep. Schakowsky’s Fairness in Taxation Act, which creates higher tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, eliminating subsidies for Big Oil, and through eliminating tax loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas.
The Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR) has endorsed this bill. Please engage your organization to do the same.
Will it work? Well, the "Texas Miracle" Rick Perry is trying to take credit for actually derives from a huge increase in public sector jobs. Luckily, we see the fight for jobs happening all over the country, such as in Connecticut, as Joelle Fishman reports.
Path #2 More of the Same
The latest jobs figures from Florida show that under Republican Gov. Scott, the state lost 22,100 jobs last month. If you look at this chart, you'll see that more than half of those were government jobs - 1,500 at the state level, 9,700 local. Another 3,800 jobs in education disappeared.
High unemployment is shattering the economic security of children in Michigan with one in every eight children living in a household struggling with job loss and one in every 20 kids affected by foreclosure, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book.
Gov. John Kasich and Republican state legislators have decided Ohio doesn't need $176 million in federal money to expand its unemployment insurance program. Monday 8/22/11 was the deadline to apply for the funding, but the state has not taken action to make the needed change.
The choices are stark. Our country is losing more and more of its social safety net, jobs and infrastructure as each day goes by. If you want to see a change here are two quick actions you can take right now:
Tell Obama to Create Jobs; not more cuts!
Sign the petition to Tax The Rich by The Other 98%
Stop Discrimination Against the Unemployed by American Rights at Work
Please make sure to visit the People's World online for the best in worker's news!
Labor Chair, CPUSA
Source: Letter from CPUSA