“Pass This Jobs Bill!”

Don’t go for the Okeedoke.

Pass this jobs bill,” is one of the president’s recurring lines in this year’s episode —- as though Barack Obama actually had a bill that might create jobs for the record number of jobless, and as if he even imagined he could or ought to do such a thing. On the real, he hasn’t and he doesn’t.Politicians come closest to saying what they really think right after elections, not before them.

 Shortly after the 2008 election, Barack shared with the nation a few of his thoughts on job creation, economics and history. He said it was the private sector’s job, not the government’s role to create jobs and wealth, so no massive WPA-style jobs proposal would be forthcoming. Not soon. Not ever. Not from his administration, at least.

 Like today, during the Great Depression of the 1930s, private industry was intent on driving wages further down, and quite happy with massive unemployment and poverty. Popular pressure forced the Roosevelt administration to make the federal government the employer of last resort, and hundreds of thousands of jobless were hired to build parks and roads and bridges and dams and schools across the country. Those WPA workers even dug the subways under downtown Chicago’s State Street, which are still creating wealth and jobs 75 years later.

 But in keeping with Obama’s philosophy, his so-called “jobs bill” proposes nothing of the kind. More than half its original $447 billion price tag is made up of tax cuts, many billions of it to the same industries that are laying people off.

 At the same time, the Obama White House has advanced NAFTA-like free trade bills for Colombia, Panama, and South Korea, a kind of legislation that is a proven job-killer.


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