Kathy posted about a solution to the economic problems facing this country. JOBS, JOBS and MORE JOBS. Well, I have some specific suggestions that neither President Bush, the Business Roundtable nor the Chamber of Commerce will endorse and the Democratic Congress will not even consider but will solve ALL of the fiscal woes afflicting our country.
Initiate public works programs similar to those that FDR started during the 1930s in his attempt to pull the U.S. out of the Great Depression. The three United States land management agencies controlling the most land are the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Department of Defense. These agencies have “deferred maintenance” requirements that run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. A public works programs that would hire 5 million people at a minimum of $15 an hour would solve a whole host of problems.
1. Most of these hires would be in relatively rural communities. The infusion of cash into rural communities would be eye-opening.
2. The $15 an hour pay would put a floor under the minimum wage. No more $7/hour cashier jobs at the local movie rental place and no more $7 hour for flipping burgers. I mean, really, minimum wage ? It’s not even minimum starvation wages. I know folks with two minimum wage jobs who still are not making it.
Eliminating all the deferred maintenance would not only pump a lot of money into the economy but it would have the real benefit of bringing all trails, foot bridges and a zillion other items up to snuff and make them safe for the using public.
How do we pay for all this? Well, first, I don’t really care how. Let’s get a program moving, then we can worry about how to pay for it. We could raise taxes on all those earning more than half a million a year. If you earn over $10 million a year, I don’t think a 70% tax rate is excessive.