Thursday, February 5, 2009

What Obama Needs To Do...
(Or No More Mr. Niceguy)

Okay, okay, I understand that my role in the Obama Administration amounts to nothing more than a random, midnight blogger who is engaged in sending suggestions to Obama and his Cabinet Members, Congress people and other assorted colleagues. Just a few ideas of topics that I think that Obama should be paying attention to on the news front: 1) JOBS; 2) Afghanistan (I think that your hunch is correct - this will be the next place to blow); 3) Health Care; 4) Did I mention that people need JOBS? [As Thom Hartman says, "Why aren't we calling the Stimulus Bill, the Jobs Creation Bill or more simply, 'THE JOBS BILL'?"] I say, strip the bill down to the essential INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS that will put people to work ASAP: building bridges, upgrading schools, fixing roads, DOING THINGS that will not only put unemployed people to work, but will also result in good, tangible things that will benefit us all. Is it any wonder that the Republicans are reluctant to get behind this package? All the right-wing side of the aisle can seem to do is say an emphatic, "No!" Obama and his Democratic friends can always go back and float a "Tax-cut bill" sometime in the future - I don't think that those of us who voted for Obama expect him to fulfill all of his campaign promises in one sweeping piece of legislation.

If people don't have jobs (i.e. a paycheck coming in on a regular basis), then they can't pay their mortgage or their bills, or buy food and gasoline, let alone Plasma TVs or even rent DVDs. So all the talk from the right-wing blowholes about addressing the home foreclosure situation is putting the cart before the horse - in other words, people need to WORK, so that they can pay their mortgages, or save enough to put a reasonable down payment on a house, and have income to make those payments each month once they qualify for a home loan.

Here a few ideas for making the "Jobs Bill" more effective and ready to go (from an e-mail that I received from CREDO):
--Get rid of a $2 billion provision for "clean coal" plants. Instead, invest this money in green infrastructure and alternative energy development.
--Invest in infrastructure, not tax cuts. Don't reward businesses that got us into this mess with tax cuts that won't create new jobs in the future.
--Reinstate the Medicaid Family Planning State Option. Funding state health care programs for women will protect jobs of health care workers and make sure women living in or on the edge of poverty get the care they need.
--Include meaningful bankruptcy reform. Bankruptcy judges should regain the ability to restructure mortgages (that is, lower the amount owed and the interest rate, reflecting the lower value of the house) so that borrowers can stay in their homes. Don't give Verizon $1.6 billion in tax cuts without generating a single new job. Money originally earmarked to encourage companies to bring high speed Internet to under served low-income and rural communities has turned into a billion dollar giveaway to big telecoms.

Here's the full text of the "Stimulus Bill" as passed by the House of Representatives (without a single Republican vote): HR 1 (111st Cong., 1st Sess. 2009).

1 comment:

Gene Ha said...

The other joke about business tax cuts is that businesses that are losing money won't get a tax cut. It'll all go to businesses that don't need the help. How asinine is that?