The private sector has added jobs in recent months, but government has lost jobs because Republican Governors are firing public workers. In July total private sector employment rose by 154,000 over the month, reflecting job gains in several major industries, including health care, retail trade, manufacturing, and mining. Government employment continued to decline mainly at the state and local levels which lost 39,000 jobs. The Federal level added 2000 jobs so the net new job creation was 117,000 jobs. At the state and local levels they are doing their level best to eliminate jobs and increase the unemployment rate at a time when the unemployment rate is approaching 10%. Republican Governors like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Rick Scott in Florida, Rick Snyder in Michigan, Chris Christie in New Jersey and John Kasich in Ohio are doing everything they can to make the job situation worse so that Obama won't be reelected. If all those teachers, policeman, firemen and snow plough drivers hadn't been laid off, the unemployment rate would be a couple per cent lower. With the unemployment rate above 9% Obama's chances of being reelected are nil and Republicans aim to keep it that way.
Now they are going after the Post Office which is considering laying off 120,000 workers! This fiasco is being precipitated because the Republican Congress is forcing the Post Office to make overly huge payments into their pension fund thus causing a budget crisis. The fact that most U.S. citizens are using fewer USPS services due to improved electronic and computer communication, turns out not to be the main source of the problem. It turns out that the Post Office budget crsis has been totally manufactured by Republicans in Congress.
Postmaster Donahoe testified on Wednesday in the House of Representatives before the Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy on Oversight and Government Reform, a very long name for members sitting in judgment on how the USPS goes about its business.
In proposing more cost cutting for fiscal year 2011, Donahoe said $2 billion more will be eliminated from the Postal Service budget. Despite that and the $9 billion from the last couple of years, USPS cannot make ends meet without deficit spending and borrowing, in a mini-version of the total federal budget woes.
The fact that most U.S. citizens are using fewer USPS services due to improved electronic and computer communication, turns out not to be the main source of the problem. Congress learned from the Postmaster General that the decrease in usage and the attendant fees that they have taken out of the system rank second to “...the result of an inflexible business model due to the laws that govern the Postal Service.”
Most particularly, Donahoe cited a federal regulation instituted in 2007 that "...required the Postal Service to pre-fund retiree health benefits (RHB) in amounts of approximately $5.5 billion per year." There is no other entity in the federal bureaucracy that must abide by similar rules. There is a direct correlation, said Donahoe between the Postal Services' budget woes and the institution of the rule on RHB.
Audited financial results for the four years prior to RHB taking effect show the USPS running in the black. But for the requirements of the RHB, the Postmaster General insists the Postal Service would still be running within its budget and showing revenue above and beyond that. In addition to asking Congress to reconsider its decision to burden the agency in this way, Donahoe reiterated some familiar and introduced some new remedies for the budget woes.
Republicans are eliminating jobs and exacerbating the unemployment situation which dovetails very nicely with their "small government" quest. Just like Scott Walker created a budget crisis in Wisconsin by giving huge tax breaks to corporations and then attempted to balance the budget on the backs of the poor, the middle class and the unions, the Bush tax cuts are bankrupting the Federal government, and Republicans are calling for cuts in Social Security and Medicare. At all levels, Federal, State and Municipal, Republicans are creating crises and then calling for the elimination of public service jobs. It's the Shock Doctrine which they perpetrated unsuccessfully in South America, but now they're using it on their own country in order to turn the US into a banana republic just when the so-called banana republics are throwing off the yoke of neocon conservatism. The more jobs eliminated, the less the chances of an Obama reelection. God help us if a demigogue like Rick Perry gets into the White House!
Some Democrats have boldly suggested that the Federal government should create jobs directly, a move that Republicans would surely label as "socialist." Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has a great jobs creation plan reminiscent of the Works Progress Administration and Civil Conservation Corps, plans developed by FDR during the Great Depression which Republicans are desperately trying to revisit. According to the Huffington Post:
WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, announced on Wednesday that she will introduce a progressive-minded budget outline aimed at putting more than two million people to work.
Titled the “Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act,” the plan would cost $227 billion and would be implemented over two years. It would be financed by separate legislation introduced by Schakowsky called the "Fairness in Taxation Act," which would raise taxes for Americans who earn more than $1 million and $1 billion. It would also eliminate subsidies for big oil companies while closing loopholes for corporations that send American jobs overseas.
The congresswoman said that her plan would create 2.2 million jobs and decrease the unemployment rate by 1.3 percent.
"If we want to create jobs, then create jobs," Schakowsky said in a press release. "I’m not talking about "incentivizing" companies in the hopes they’ll hire someone, or cutting taxes for the so-called job creators who have done nothing of the sort. My plan creates actual new jobs."
Schakowsky’s proposal reads more like a progressive wishlist than legislation likely to be signed into law. But it does provide a template of sorts to help Democrats frame their budget argument as lawmakers enter the high-stakes super committee negotiations.
Under her plan, the following policies would be implemented:
- 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 including the restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.
- The Student Jobs Corps would create 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 new teachers, 40,000 new police officers and 12,000 new 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 communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.
In addition, the bill would give priority to the longterm unemployed -- the so-called "99ers" who have exhausted both their state and federal unemployment benefits. Federally extended unemployment benefits are set to expire this year, even though nearly 14 million Americans remain out of work and it takes the average worker nine months to find a new job.
“The worst deficit this country faces isn’t the budget deficit," Schakowsky said. "It’s the jobs deficit. We need to get our people and our economy moving again.”
So jobs would be created directly by the Federal government and the program would be funded by raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires. It would be a tax (on those who can afford to pay) and spend (in order to create jobs) bill. It would not add to the Federal budget deficit or national debt. What's not to like about this bill? Do you want "small government" or government which can cause an amelioration of the American peoples' lives? Do you want jobs and tax fairness or the present system of government of, for, and by the wealthy? Do you want "small government" in which swarms of lobbyists write the laws and drill holes in the tax code favoring large corporations or do you want government that provides social services like public schools, libraries, parks, post office, police and fire departments? Americans better get their heads on straight and stop voting for "political entertainers" like Michelle Bachman and Rick Perry.
If the American people demand that government should create jobs directly and tax the rich to do it, the unemployment rate will come down. The Republican controlled Congress would never pass such a bill so the only thing that can be done is to make sure that the elections of 2012 produce a Democratic controlled House, Senate and Presidency. Then maybe the US could be pulled out of its present morass and slough of despond. Otherwise, Great Depression II here we come!