Unions Demand Billions for Government-Funded Jobs, Infrastructure Bank
By Brenda Elliott
August 10, 2011
The 2012 election lies ahead and union leaders are focused on more money for government-funded jobs.
AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumka, speaking on national television twice this week, said he wants POTUS Obama to “apply the same urgency to job creation as he did to the debt ceiling crisis,” the Communist Party USA’s People’s World reports.
Trumka “called for government spending to create jobs, establishment of an infrastructure bank and more aid for state and local governments to stem the tide of job loss among government workers.”
The unions plan to “hold 450 events nationwide this month, including fundraisers and town halls, to demand that politicians back policies to create jobs and restore the economy.” Additionally, the AFL-CIO launched an online petition campaign, “which it expects more than 800,000 people to sign, urging political leaders to act to create jobs,” People’s World writes.
Today, Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is officially unveiling the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act, which aims to create over 2 million jobs at a cost of $221 billion.
“Much of the funds would come from separate legislation including Schakowsky’s own Fairness in Taxation Act, which increases taxes for millionaires and billionaires and eliminates subsidies for Big Oil. The rest of the funds would come from eliminating tax loopholes for corporations that ship American jobs overseas,” People’s World writes.
Schakowsky, a member of Obama’s 18-member Fiscal Commission, introduced her bill in March.
The intent of the Fairness in Taxation Act of 2011 (H.R.1124) is “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to impose increased rates of tax with respect to taxpayers with more than $1,000,000 taxable income, and for other purposes.”
The bill’s original co-sponsors included Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), co-chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and several other CPC members.
The bill is supported by a number of progressive groups, including Citizen Action Illinois, USAction, and Campaign for America’s Future.
Funds would be used to create 2 million jobs, including a New Dealesque Parks Improvement Corps and two education-related programs, the School Improvement Corps and a Student Jobs Corps, as well as the “hiring of additional firefighters and police around the country.”
Additionally, on August 8, Schakowsky, Justin Ruben, executive director of MoveOn.org, and Van Jones, president of Rebuild the Dream (and Obama’s former “green czar”), announced the Contract for the American Dream to “build a popular movement that ‘could match, if not surpass, the debt reduction crowd in both size and energy’.”
The basic premise of the campaign is that America isn’t broke, it’s merely imbalanced. In order to stabilize the economy, politicians should make substantial investments in infrastructure, energy, education and the social safety net, tax the rich, end the wars, and create a wider revenue base through job creation.
At the top of the Contract’s ten-item list is “Invest in America’s Infrastructure” and the call for state and national infrastructure banks:
Rebuild our crumbling bridges, dams, levees, ports, water and sewer lines, railways, roads, and public transit. We must invest in high-speed Internet and a modern, energy-saving electric grid. These investments will create good jobs and rebuild America. To help finance these projects, we need national and state infrastructure banks.
A month ago, on July 11, Seton Motley, the founder and president of Less Government, tweeted: “‘Infrastructure bank’ = yet ANOTHER govt slush fund.”
“Obama pushes for infrastructure bank proposal after debt deal,” Keith Laing wrote at The Hill:
“The infrastructure bank that we’ve proposed is relatively small,” Obama said. “But could we imagine a project where we’re rebuilding roads, bridges and ports and schools and broadband lines and smart-grids and taking all those construction workers and putting them back to work right now?
“I can imagine a very aggressive program like that around that I think the American people would rally around and that I think would be good for the economy not just next year or the year after, but for the next 20 or 30 years,” Obama continued.
Since it is highly unlikely this was an original Obama idea, a quick search didn’t take long to find its sources.
Trumka, who is arrogant enough to say he visits the White House two to three times a week and converses with the White House on a daily basis needs to DEMAND BILLIONS from Obama and the Dems in Congress?