Huffpost Politics
The Blog

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Paul Abrams Headshot

Closing Argument (II): "Jobs for Americans vs. Tax Cuts for Billionaires"

Posted: Updated:

Working Americans should not have to sit idly awaiting the right conditions for the private sector to hire them. Moreover, the country has work to do, the residual of a decade of neglect, "years," as Winston Churchill called an earlier era, "that the locusts have eaten".

The $700B the Republicans propose as tax cuts for billionaires should be used instead to hire four million Americans at an average salary of $45,000 per person for four years, or five million Americans at an average salary of $35,000 per person for four years.

Not stimulus. Not temporary employment. Direct hires. So long as businesses are cutting back and Republicans are giving them tax breaks to send jobs overseas (see "Closing Argument (I): Republicans Say "Yes" to Offshoring American Jobs", October 16, 2010), incentives are working, but not fast enough.

When incentives are not working fast enough for working Americans, Democrats should not throw up their hands in futility. They should take the next step.

Unlike some, I do not really blame (most) private companies. If demand for a company's products is down, if there is no increase on the horizon, there is no reason to boost production or purchase new equipment. Of course, if these businesses are hiring, but just hiring overseas, that is a different story altogether. And, just as we know the Saudis kept oil prices low to enable Bush's re-election (see Bob Woodward's, "State of Denial"), it is certainly possible that some companies are delaying hiring until after the mid-terms to make the Congress's record look worse.

What is more, we have important work to do in this country, most of which is too big of an investment, or the pay back too long term, for private companies to do it anyhow: building a new electric grid, repairing our roads, bridges, upgrading our rail systems, constructing high-speed rail, creating energy from wind and solar and algae, laying high-speed fiberoptic cable, and so forth.

All of these are critical investments... and they put people to work. All of these put people to work... and they are critical investments.

The longer we wait, the more our economic future is imperiled. The longer we wait, the more families suffer, the more people lose confidence in themselves, the more the gloom spreads.

In just four months Harry Hopkins hired four million Americans for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). And, he did not have the internet.

It can be done.

It can be paid for.

By specifically allocating receipts from the expired tax cuts on incomes above $250,000 to this modern WPA, the deficit will increase in the short run, but the national debt will not increase over 10 years. (We will spend the $700B in 4 years, recoup it over 10 years, but have provided a competitive foundation for future economic growth -- Washington State gets 80% of its electricity from hydroelectric, 7 decades after the Grand Coulee dam was constructed).

Here are the images: i) Bush speaking to the black-tied, bejeweled dinner telling them, "you are my base" with images of foreclosure signs and plants shutting, then sliding into Joe Barton apologizing to BP with images of Gulf residents out of work; ii) images of unemployment lines; iii) graphics of dollars floating toward billionaires,; iv) images of Americans going to work on the Grand Coulee dam in the Great Depression, voiceover with how many jobs it created by government employees; v) then graphics of the dollars to floating toward workers in hard hats images of modern America, people going off to work on the national parks, roads, bridges and so forth. These should be calming soothing images, and voice over a calming, soothing voice.

At the end: "On November 2, it is your choice: tax cuts for billionaires [Republican candidate] or jobs for Americans [Democratic candidate].

"I'm XYZ, and I approved this message, because, like you, I choose jobs for Americans".

Period.

It is late, but not too late. On October 26, 1982, Ronald Reagan decried those using the rising job losses to win the elections. October 26th. Reagan's record to that point was worse, much worse, than Obama's. The recession he had to handle was bad, but not nearly as bad as that left to President Obama by the disastrous Bush Administration. Reagan's personal poll ratings were lower, despite the sympathy for his having survived an assassination attempt.

Reagan lost seats, but it was not a blow-out.

So, two closing arguments: "Republicans Say 'Yes' to Shipping Your Job Overseas", and "Jobs for Americans vs. Tax Cuts for Billionaires".

Nothing more.

Repeat from now until election day. Repeat from now until election day. Repeat from now until election day....

Register To Vote