The country needs jobs, not a bipartisan austerity diet

As a follow-on to yesterday’s write up of the September jobs report (hint: it wasn’t good), I want to direct you to this, on the House-Senate conference committee that will meet soon to hash out a budget.

If you hadn’t heard, one of the outcomes of the deal to re-open the government was that the House and Senate would meet in a conference committee to actually propose a budget (if they can agree on one), instead of just funding the government with a series of hostage crises followed by “continuing resolutions” (CRs) that keep the current — and sequester-hobbled — budget in place for a few more weeks or months.

Here’s Richard Eskow writing in Huffington Post about that conference committee. His advice — please, give us some jobs, not more austerity. Eskow (my emphasis and some reparagraphing):

Dear House-Senate Budget Committee: The Country Needs Jobs

Details are emerging about the House-Senate Conference Committee charged with developing a new budget. That would presumably head off the continued threat of a renewed Republican government shutdown – a catastrophe which is currently scheduled for January 15 – and would presumably also defuse the GOP’s threat to throw the government into default.

A word for the members of the Committee: Today the S&P 500 stock market index hit record highs, while newly-released employment statistics were even weaker than expected. Your mission couldn’t be clearer. You must create a budget which creates jobs for the American people. …

Nevertheless, many politicians are misinterpreting their assignment. You’ll hear them say that the Committee’s been charged with finding a “deficit reduction plan” that’s acceptable to both parties.

Congress wasn’t elected to “reduce the deficit.” According to polling from 2012, it — and the president — were elected to create jobs. You certainly weren’t elected to create a more hospitable climate for offshoring mega-corporations. And if you think you were, feel free to declare “Mission accomplished.”

Eskow is a very good numbers guy, and the links to polling are good. Only in DC is “profits before jobs” considered a priority. More polling links from Eskow:

[Congress’s] assignment hasn’t changed since you were elected. Two thirds of voters polled earlier this year stated that the government’s top priority should be job creation. Voters still believe that we need jobs in order to fix the economy, according to Gallup polling, and they’re right.

There’s plenty in the article. As always Eskow is clear and easy to read. And if you aren’t getting how bad the jobs picture is, he includes this nice chart:

Job recovery by recession since WW II. Our non-recovery is the heavy red line.

Jobs recovery by recession since WW II. Our non-recovery is the heavy red line.

See the problem? Starting in 1981, when god became president and both parties changed forever, every recession has had a slower jobs recovery than the previous one. Track the last four colors listed at the top in order and see what I mean.

And our current jobs “recovery” — isn’t.

Yet, as Eskow point out, the S&P is doing just fine, thanks to our current bipartisan protectors (I mean, overlords) who “make it so” for their campaign contributors. Coincidence? You decide.

Saving the children

In DC, both Democrats and Republicans (sworn enemies, right?) are talking about cuts to food stamps (the SNAP program), to Social Security (Chained CPI is back on the table), and to Medicare/Medicaid as a way to “save the children”.

Here’s my idea: Wanna “save the children”? Save them from contributing even more from their blighted paychecks to their elders so Grannie doesn’t have to eat Obama-Ryan™ Friskie Bits five straight nights a week.

Class War Kitteh says, "No Obama-Ryan budget for my grandma."

Class War Kitteh says, “No Obama-Ryan™ budget for my grandma.”

Three straight nights a week is plenty, thank you very much.

Again, do read Eskow’s piece, and communicate with your Congressmen and women. If they don’t hear from you, they’ll assume you stand with their lobbyists. You don’t want to grease that slide. You want to lay grit and sand across it.

Making the call

It’s simple and fast. Make the call and tell your Congress person that lobbyists and billionaires don’t speak for you — and you vote, your parents vote, and their parents vote.

Senate phone numbers here. House phone numbers here.

It’s best to call your actual representatives for maximum effect, but if you want to put a polite word into the shell-like ears of the House-Senate conferees themselves, that list is here. Most are not your friend (looking at you, Democrat Chris Van Hollen), though a few, like Sanders, Merkley and others, are.

Saving your future — and your children’s — starts with you. Sad that, but there it is. Please, do make the call. And thanks!


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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