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View Diary: 3 Progressive Principles for the Next Deal (130 comments)

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  •  Re: "Investments In Jobs" (46+ / 0-)

    First of all Congressman, good evening! It's a pleasure to be able to blog with you.  .

    Happy New Year!

    I'm a big fan of your work!

    It appears that there isn't much acceptable to the right, as far as any "job creation" legislative strategy is concerned, other than pushing for tax cuts.

    How do you, as the co-chair of the Progressive Caucus, get around that, to transform it into plausible (potentially successful) strategy? Hopefully, I'm not being overly crass, if I ask: Is it really just about horse-trading, when it comes down to it?

    In advance, thanks for your consideration of these questions!

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 03:32:12 PM PST

    •  I'd like to see Democrats dealing with defense (45+ / 0-)

      There are a lot of sequester cuts to defense a lot of people will want to see disappear.  It'd be very nice to see Democrats negotiating to get $1 in infrastructure jobs spending for every $1 restored to defense.  That's a win-win on both sides, because it would restrain the ridiculous growth in defense spending.  It's also a more specific demand than that listed above.

      Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

      by Dallasdoc on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:10:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is that 1-1 ...? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, shenderson, Puddytat

        We'll get a dollar of our spending (jobs, social programs) for a dollar of their spending (defense, more defense) using the sequester as the baseline? Is that what people expect despite the posturing?

      •  I'm all for infrastructure and job spending, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, elwior, cslewis

        I believe the sequester cuts also hit nondefense domestic programs equally hard.

        If I recall correctly, the cuts are roughly $110 billion per year – $55 billion from the defense, and $55 billion from nondefense (including $10 billion taken from Medicare).

        So I think the only way Democrats avoid the sequester cuts to Medicare and social programs (i.e. maintain current spending levels) is to use defense spending as leverage -- and I'm very skeptical enough Dems are willing to do this.

        The additional infrastructure and job spending you propose? Sure, that would be fantastic – and perhaps that's what we should aim for. To counter the media and beltway that are pushing for austerity, we should push for fiscal expansion.

        But in the end, I will be relieved if we manage to maintain current spending levels.

        •  A big jobs program would help a lot (10+ / 0-)

          It would engender quite a bit more economic stimulus than just the money spent, creating jobs and increasing tax revenue.  I agree that social spending cuts need recovery as well, and might go after DHS cuts to create a comparable bargain.  Tax revenue increases should also be primarily spent for social spending until the unemployment rate falls to a certain level, maybe 6%, after which deficit reduction could become a primary target.

          Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

          by Dallasdoc on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:00:54 PM PST

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          •  I would support a jobs program IF (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rsie, Words In Action

            it was along the lines of Carter's CETA PSE.   The cities and schools have been decimated and need help.   The jobs program in the ARRA was a complete duplication of existing legislation and too short term to be of any use.  

            Having administered both programs, PSE is the best.     But the corporate culture up there would rather let people die that fund a program that helps people and community rather than corporations.

            This whole thing has me so pissed off I can't see straight.  Billions upon billions in corporate welfare, and they want more.  Not one damned politician or CEO, current or retired, has taken a pay cut or lost a dime's worth of benefits.

            Neither party represents the middle class, and  I will never vote for another Democrat even if that means Cheney ends up king.   When somebody gets serious about holding Democrats accountable, I think about it.  

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by dkmich on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:17:36 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  CETA was a pretty shitty program compared to the (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:


              A lot of make-work bullshit with nakedly political not-for-profits, instead of lasting infrastructure work.

              We've got a way better model, it's just older.

              "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

              by JesseCW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:18:49 AM PST

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              •  Not true in our program. (2+ / 0-)

                Lasting infrastructure?  Ha.  ARRA make a lot of noise about shovel ready, but I don't see anything it built.   At least CETA PSE put smart and caring people in our schools and cities.  They were para pros in classrooms, worked in parks, or non-profits.  Many got hired on in permanent positions as a result of their PSE employment.  It was a temp to perm arrangement for many.    Sure, some people cheated.  What else is new.  

                My dad was in the CCC.   I really don't think people want to live in tents and bathe in streams.   If you show me a national project, e.g., high speed rail, that they will accomplish, I'd consider it.    State and local projects are just a bunch of band aids.

                What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                by dkmich on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 04:43:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  People really want to live in tents and bathe in (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gustynpip, dkmich

                  streams. (Nevermind that Corpmembers mostly lived in bunkhouses).

                  There's a 9 month waiting list for a spot in California Conservation Corps.

                  I can't believe you're seriously arguing CETA is somehow superior on the one hand and then on the other arguing that local projects somehow "don't count".  Do you get how completely self contradictory that is?

                  When you provide people with three hots and a cot to go with their paycheck, you do them a lot bigger favor.

                  "Shovel ready"?  The Forest Service alone has enough deferred trail maintenance to employ 100,000  people this summer. With literal shovels.

                  "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

                  by JesseCW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 07:07:22 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My dad was in Cheboygan, MI in a tent. (0+ / 0-)

                    They did have to bathe in the river.   He and hundreds of others planted trees.   He loved it, and he said it was one of the best things that ever happened to him in his life.  It was in the middle of depression, and it beat stealing clothes and selling bath tub gin.  

                    Yes, I did contradict myself.   I think my distinction is for-profit vs government.    In PSE, the money went to the people in the form of wages and benefits.  We didn't pay for materials, equipment, corporate contracts or profit.   Whatever benefits the community derived were a result of labor, not a cash contribution.  

                    I have no idea what your frame of reference is on all of this.  All I can tell you is what happened in our region of Michigan.   PSE was a good program and truly helped people and the community.    Yes, there was some supplanting instead of supplementing, mostly with cops,  but we didn't pay out a nickle in profit.   The PSE participants were the direct beneficiaries of tax dollars.

                    Chicago and Detroit would be real happy to see a few more cops.


                    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                    by dkmich on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:18:37 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Most "C's Boys" were quartered in bunkhouses (0+ / 0-)

                      for most of their time in.  With new camps, they'd start with tents, then have bunkhouses with tent roofs, then get real roofs on.

                      Spending money on goods isn't a downside.  That provides jobs too.   Providing food and uniforms and housing will do a hell of a lot more for huge population of unemployed youth than just providing some 8 dollar an hour jobs.

                      We need to invest in infrastructure as well as human capital.  We can put as many young women and men to work as we can raise the funds for effectively overnight, weatherizing homes and installing solar panels and clearing streams and, yes, picking up trash.

                      Many of these young people in their early twenties have been an effective Depression economy since they got out of high school.  They need work experience before they're going to get hired anywhere.

                      They also need marketable skills - not just time spent organizing an outdated library file card system.

                      "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

                      by JesseCW on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:35:30 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  But it isn't just youth. (0+ / 0-)

                        As a youth program, I think the CCC is a great idea.   However, not so great for older workers.  Youth have higher unemployment numbers, but they have greater opportunity because they command a smaller salary and  face less discrimination than older workers.    

                        According to a disturbing new Government Accountability Office study released at the hearing (Unemployed Older Workers: Many Face Long-Term Joblessness and Reduced Retirement Security), the number of long-term unemployed people age 55 and older has more than doubled since the recession began. More than a third of unemployed older workers have been out of work for more than a year, and 55 percent (1.1 million) have been unempoyed for more than six months, up from 23 percent in 2007.

                        Black and Hispanic older workers had significantly higher unemployment rates than white older workers in 2011, the GAO report says.


                        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

                        by dkmich on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 05:32:18 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Occupy showed people like tents... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  there is something invigorating about waking up out of doors and having a purpose in life...

    •  In green jobs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      We need global climate change to be a part of all our actions now.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:24:46 AM PST

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