THE BLOG

A Bold Action Plan for US Jobs Recovery!

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

There's much hand-wringing about unemployment, but few proposals for potent action, Most call for more stimulus spending on infrastructure and easier credit for small business. But there's growing concern about adding to projected budget deficits, especially with the limited results so far. We need to make something very big happen that's within our control and still is affordable

Also, our leaders haven't recognized a more basic problem than spending. It's the loss of our ability to compete with foreign imports here' in our home market. For example, there's hope that green products" like wind turbines will be a fine opportunity for US companies and with many new jobs. Yet suppliers from Europe and even Brazil have already taken the lead there. Since the recession began, thousands of US manufacturers have given up and closed shop. No wonder job recovery is slow with those employers gone.

Is the situation hopeless? No, not at all if we rebuild our global competitive position wisely. We should start where we have the most strength -- possession of the world's biggest market by far. Remember this -- America is the only industrial nation that runs trade deficits. In the past 4 years, 2004 through 2008, we had a total trade deficit of 3.5 trillion dollars! We had to borrow 2 billion dollars a day to pay for it! That's national insanity, plain and simple! Imagine what we could do with that money to rebuild our industries and for other programs lime health care and education. There's no national strategy or WTO regulation that says we should borrow.

To support the rest of the world's exports, we must have at least balanced trade, and there's draft legislation already written to achieve it -- Senate, bill S.3899 -- "The Balanced Trade Restoration Bill of 2006". But it's not even being discussed in Washington today. The bill is based on a plan devised by Warren Buffett and calls for the issuance of tradable "import certificates"equal to our exports. It's market-based and doesn't target any country or industry. Imports are still welcome, but the purchase of the necessary import certificates will level the competitive playing field, especially with countries ,like China, Japan,and Germany that heavily subsidize their exports. A very important feature is that little government funding will be required, and businesses should have a much better chance at easier credit with better market conditions.

It's time for the Obama Administration to make jobs a much higher priority and to strongly back
S 3899 as one of the main answers. We can do this unilaterally and it should have wide bipartisan support.