Five Ways to Get America Back to Work
January 3, 2012
It is America’s top priority: attacking the jobs crisis and putting Americans back to work. Continuing partisan deadlock has so far kept Congress from taking action, but that has not stopped some elected officials from promoting new ideas - ideas that working families are pushing to make the centerpiece of the 2012 elections. Here are five that could help IBEW members from every branch get off the bench:
As MSNBC reports:
The Infrastructure Bank proposal is part of Obama’s jobs package.
2. Extend Payroll Tax Cut, Unemployment Benefits: With consumer demand still near rock bottom, putting more money into the hands of working families is vital to keeping local economies alive. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that extending unemployment insurance for another year will create 323,000 jobs, while extending the payroll tax cut would create 400,000 new jobs according to economist Joel Prakken. Both extensions are supported by President Obama and congressional Democrats.
3. Energy Investment: A comprehensive national push to invest in both renewable energy – solar, wind and biofuels – as well as boosting traditional energy resources such as clean coal, natural gas and domestically produced oil would put tens of thousands of electrical workers back on the job. While President Obama’s 2009 recovery act provided important incentives for renewable projects, the federal government has dragged its feet on further measures. As former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently wrote:
Some immediate steps Congress can take on the energy jobs front:
4. Crack Down on Chinese Currency Manipulation: China’s artificially undervalued currency makes Chinese products cheaper in the U.S. and American products more expensive in China. The Economic Policy Institute estimates that cracking down on currency manipulation – as called for by the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, passed by the House of Representatives last fall – would create more than 1 million jobs.
5. Buy American: Many Americans were outraged by the news that the recently completed east span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge – the largest public works project in California history – used Chinese-made steel. The “Invest in American Jobs Act of 2011,” sponsored by Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) would help prevent such incidents by eliminating loopholes in existing “Buy America” requirements to ensure that all components used in public works projects are made in America.