Jobs, Economy & Transportation
Creating Jobs: #1 Issue IS Jobs
I propose and support a Real Deal Jobs Bill, a Green Jobs bill and call for direct investment that puts people to work now—half measures that may or may not percolate through the system do not cut it. In the short-term, if we invested $100 billion over two years, we could create 2 million green jobs and with $500 billion over 10 years, we could create 5 million green jobs. Currently, corporate tax loopholes cost us $100 billion dollars per year; under my plan, we need just half of that amount, freeing the other half for education and other needs.
Rebuilding Our Economy
Foreclosure restructuring. Tell banks that they must restructure loans where they engaged in bad faith behavior or worse, or they will be banned from any federal funds for 5 years.
Place terms on any money the government gives to banks, such as requiring them to make low-interest loans a certain percentage of the funds (20-30%) to small business so they can have the access to capital that they need in order to create jobs. For low-interest, I would cap it at 4%. Big banks will howl, but when they are getting our money for nothing (Geithner gave away $30 billion to Goldman Sachs at .01% interest, which may as well be zero interest), 4% is a huge mark-up, and they will still make plenty of profit.
If they don’t like the terms, they do not have to take the money, and then we will simply have more funds to work with community banks where the money will stay local. The banks would also have to loan a certain amount to individuals with high credit scores at interest rates below 4%, and then these borrowers will buy houses for the first time or refinance, and the housing sector would start to stabilize and money from the refinancing will be infused back into the economy. We could also look at measures to help green construction, solar manufacturing, and wind turbines.
Raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00. And finally index it to inflation so that working people do not experience flat wages as has been the case over the past decades. Their labor is the engine of the economy, and they have earned fair pay for their labor, period. If someone works 40 hours per week, they should not be poor. It is a disgrace that in America someone can have a full time job and not have enough money to pay her rent or eat three meals a day.
It has now been almost 2 years since the last increase on July 24, 2009. Before that, workers had to wait 10 long years for a measly raise from $5.15 to $5.85, then another whopping 70 cents in 2008, to one more peanut leap to its current amount. When 96% of income generated by corporations this past year has gone to profit, it is obvious that they can afford to pay decent wages to the people who make their corporations run. If these workers did not show up for work, the enclave of CEOs and managers would have no company.
I support a financial speculation tax between .02 to .25 percent, also referred to as a financial speculation tax which projects $100 billion per year in revenue. People often refer to Wall Street traders as gamblers, but in fact the proper term is bookies, because regardless of whether people make or lose money, they still get their commission. They force the rest of us to be gamblers, and there must be a mechanism that makes the stock market a more stable place for the 99 % of us to invest our money rather than it being an unearned cash cow for the 1%.
We need to invest in high-speed rail now. Anyone who says we cannot do it is defeatist and forgets that we are America…we can do whatever we put our minds and energy into because America is a great country. We built the Transcontinental Railroad with far less technology (that’s an understatement), and we sent people, pioneers really, to the moon. Other countries have had high-speed rail for decades, we can and must
At the same time, we also must invest in local transportation, improving bus routes and fixing all of our roads and bridges, which are in a dangerous state of disrepair.