Republicans’ jobs plan: The war machine

By Cate Long
July 19, 2012

Although Republicans have been insisting on cuts to federal spending, they are fighting to keep the defense budget off limits. They agreed to make cuts to military spending as part of last year’s sequester agreement, but there is a full-court press in progress to derail the cuts as the date on which they are set to take effect nears. This well organized campaign involves members of Congress, governors, mayors and military contractors. Here is what is involved, according to the House Armed Services Committee:

The Connecticut business laboratory

By Cate Long
October 23, 2011

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy is not waiting for the U.S. Congress to pass jobs legislation. Rather, he is moving on his own to get growth happening in his state. Although Connecticut’s output is running on par with national trends he has sent a package of growth proposals to the legislature. It’s an interesting blend of tax cuts, targeted programs for small business and skill upgrades for employees in the manufacturing sector. The Connecticut Mirror recently described the highlights:

An army of corporate lobbyists in the halls of Congress

By Cate Long
October 12, 2011

Now that the Senate failed to pass President Obama’s jobs legislation last night, various pieces of his plan and other pet projects are likely to be introduced separately. It’s unclear whether an extension of the payroll tax reduction or additional unemployment benefits — two key planks of the President’s plan — will get floor time. But corporate interests are getting plenty of attention from members of the Senate. In particular, an army of corporate lobbyists has been vigorously promoting a tax holiday for U.S. multinationals.

Obama proposes direct aid to local governments

By Cate Long
September 9, 2011

Obama proposes direct aid to local governments

Among the proposals made by President Obama in his jobs speech last night was his call for the federal government to fund the costs of public school teachers, firemen, policemen and first responders fully. This appears to be the only direct cash subsidy for jobs in his plan.

Must infrastructure spending shrink along with muniland?

By Cate Long
September 6, 2011

Paul Krugman at the New York Times has a good graph that shows a substantial withdrawal of government demand from the economy. He attributed this to the decline of federal government stimulus to state and local governments as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act winds down. There is also another factor that is reducing government demand: state and local governments are issuing less debt, which in turn creates fewer building projects and construction jobs.

Muniland is shrinking

By Cate Long
August 12, 2011

Although municipal tax revenues have rebounded in the last few quarters, the declines of prior years have hit state and local employment hard.  In the chart above Matt Yglesias shows the collapse of state and local revenues; with the collapse of revenues we’ve seen the loss of many muniland jobs. Now the story is pivoting to large potential job losses at the federal level.

Singing the passion song

By Cate Long
July 22, 2011

Singing the passion song

Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, writes passionately in The Atlantic about the need to create jobs in the United States, especially those linked to infrastructure. I welcome her opinion as we need more passionate voices drawing attention to the need to stop outsourcing American jobs. We will never recover if we make economic decisions solely on the the basis of manufacturing costs. Ms. Townsend says:

America will never recover when China builds our infrastructure

By Cate Long
July 12, 2011

End game for America’s jobs

America will never recover if we outsource everything, including our public infrastructure. Bloomberg made the excellent video above about California outsourcing the construction of a portion of the San Francisco Bay Bridge to Shanghai Zhenhua, a Chinese firm. Shanghai Zhenhua is assembling the section and will then ship it to California for installation. The state is supposedly saving $400 million with this move. The workers at the Chinese facility are making $12 dollars a day.

The foolishness of Ann and Amanda

By Cate Long
July 11, 2011

Television is my least favorite medium because pundits usually strike outlandish poses that are wholly disconnected from the facts. Case in point is the short video above from MSNBC with Chris Hayes of The Nation, author Amanda Foreman, pundit Ann Coulter and political commentator and comedian Bill Maher. What are these people talking about?