Saturday, February 07, 2009
Obama's Weekly Address
Here is my problem with the economic recovery plan making its way through congress. As President Obama notes, we have lost over 3.5 million jobs since this recession (if I still have my job it's a recession, if you lose your job it's a depression) began. He acknowledges that the economic recovery plan will only create 3 million jobs over two years in the "private sector." Hence, simple math suggests this plan is at best merely keeping the hole from getting deeper but not filling it. More likely though is that job losses will continue to outpace any job creation resulting from this plan. Why must this be so? Just to appease Republicans so they can have more corporate tax cuts which do not work?
If I were a member of congress, I would make my support contingent upon our addressing those items Republicans have forced out of out of this economic recovery plan such as family planning, bankruptcy relief for homeowners who have lost their jobs, education, healthcare and aid to the states.
All this talk about "stimulus" has allowed Republicans to demonize other elements vital to an economic recovery. For example, aid to states does create jobs. Without additional state aid, municipal governments across the country will be forced to raise taxes on citizens and businesses and scale back on public sector projects. Public sector jobs are just as legitimate as private sector jobs. Why are private sector jobs looked upon as the holy grail? It takes both to keep our economy humming.
So called moderates, predatory conservatives and their minions in the corporatist press have dominated this debate while truth has been drowned out. Obama should be using his bully pulpit to fight for something bolder and more expansive than he has.