In making this national economic emergency and humanitarian crisis all about presidential politics as usual, here's how N.Y. Times reporter/White House stenographer Helene Cooper puts it:
President Obama, seeking to jump-start public enthusiasm for his handling of the sputtering economy, delivered an angry speech on Thursday before auto industry workers in which he sharply criticized Congress for the political divide that he said had worsened the country’s economic crisis....(Not jump-start the economy, mind you -- just get people all excited about him).
For Mr. Obama, Thursday’s trip, coming at perhaps the lowest point in his presidency, was a chance to try to regain his footing and present himself as an assured leader with programs and proposals that will not only help put the American economy back on track, but will also boost competitiveness.Only trouble is, he had no specific proposal, other than some vague mumblings about infrastructure and trade deals that will serve to export more jobs along with creating another tax haven or three. The person with the real ideas is Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who has proposed not only a Super Jobs Committee to counter the unconstitutional and undemocratic Budget-Slashing Super Congress, but a detailed bill that would create over two million jobs, right away! Funny that Obama accuses Congress of not having any ideas, when Schakowsky's plan is staring him right in the face. Oh wait.... it's a left-of-center progressive plan. It must not be grand-bargainish or corporation-friendly enough. Here's what's in it:
- The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.
- The Park Improvement Corps would create 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. Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.
- The Student Jobs Corps would creates 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.
- The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 teachers, 40,000 new police officers, and 12,000 firefighters.
- The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.
- The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.
- The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do needed work in our communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.
|A Vision of Austerity (William Blake)|