Thursday, September 8, 2011

Senator Bernie Sanders on the Jobs Crisis

Published: Thursday 8 September 2011
“While everyone understands that we have got to reduce the deficit, the number one challenge America faces right now is a jobs crisis.” –Senator Bernie Sanders

RE­SIZE TEXT + | - | R
As Pres­i­dent Obama pre­pares for a Thurs­day ad­dress on jobs to a joint ses­sion of Con­gress, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Wednes­day called for putting Amer­i­cans back to work through a se­ries of bold mea­sures that in­clude re­build­ing the coun­try's crum­bling in­fra­struc­ture. As part of a four-point plan to jump­start the econ­omy, Sanders also said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should do more to help cash-strapped states and local gov­ern­ments that have been forced to fur­lough teach­ers, fire­fight­ers, po­lice of­fi­cers and other work­ers. He ad­vo­cated trans­form­ing our en­ergy sys­tem with job-cre­at­ing in­vest­ments in re­new­able and sus­tain­able en­ergy sources. And he called on Con­gress to re­con­sider so-called free-trade poli­cies that have dec­i­mated man­u­fac­tur­ing in the United States.
"While every­one un­der­stands that we have got to re­duce the deficit, the num­ber one chal­lenge Amer­ica faces right now is a jobs cri­sis," Sanders said, not­ing that 25 mil­lion Amer­i­cans, 16 per­cent of the work­force, are today ei­ther un­em­ployed or un­der­em­ployed.  "Cre­at­ing the mil­lions of new jobs that we des­per­ately need is not only vi­tally im­por­tant to our econ­omy but will be the means by which we re­duce the deficit over the long term."
Article image
The cen­ter­piece of Sanders' plan for putting mil­lions of Amer­i­cans back to work is his call for in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ment. 
"Every­one in Ver­mont and across the coun­try un­der­stands that we can put mil­lions of Amer­i­cans back to work re­build­ing the na­tion's bridges, roads, schools, dams, cul­verts, rail sys­tems and pub­lic trans­porta­tion, among other vital needs," Sanders said.  "We also need to build new in­fra­struc­ture: every com­mu­nity in the na­tion needs high speed In­ter­net ac­cess, most need new water or sewage plants, and our an­ti­quated elec­tric grid needs to be re­designed and re­built."
Other crit­i­cal el­e­ments of a suc­cess­ful jobs plan would trans­form en­ergy sys­tems, re­form trade poli­cies and help states and local gov­ern­ments.
"We must trans­form our en­ergy sys­tem away from fos­sil fuel and into en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and sus­tain­able en­ergy. A sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of jobs can be cre­ated through weath­er­iza­tion, and the man­u­fac­tur­ing of Amer­i­can-made wind tur­bines, solar pan­els, and heat pumps," Sanders said.
"We must also make fun­da­men­tal changes in our trade pol­icy so that we re­build our man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor. Cor­po­rate Amer­ica must in­vest in the United States and stop the out­sourc­ing of jobs to China, Viet­nam, and other low-wage coun­tries."
Under cur­rent tax laws, the United States re­wards com­pa­nies that move man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs over­seas. "If we ended the ab­sur­dity of pro­vid­ing tax breaks to com­pa­nies that ship jobs over­seas, the Joint Tax Com­mit­tee has es­ti­mated that we could raise more than $582 bil­lion in rev­enue over the next 10 years."
As the pres­i­dent and Con­gress re­fo­cus on jobs, Sanders said it also is crit­i­cally im­por­tant that a new con­gres­sional super com­mit­tee as­signed to cut the deficit by $1.5 tril­lion elim­i­nate those tax breaks and other tax loop­holes for the wealthy and large cor­po­ra­tions.
He also stressed that he would op­pose any ef­forts by the super com­mit­tee to cut So­cial Se­cu­rity, Medicare, and Med­ic­aid.

No comments:

Post a Comment