By Dave Johnson
Fellow with Campaign for America’s Future
The country has been waiting for the promised action on jobs and unemployment since the new Congress came in. Nothing yet. We’ve had the show-vote on health care, we’ve had abortion, we’ve had silly conservative fluff bill after sily conservative fluff bill, but nothing at all on the important issue: JOBS!
Instead we get quite the opposite: they are cutting programs that create jobs, and programs that help people who are out of work. 3.9 million people ran out of unemployment benefits last year. (Remember when they refused to keep unemployment benefits going, unless they got tax cuts for the rich? It’s just more Tax Cuts For The Rich, Painful Cuts For The Rest.)
Now they are cutting assistant for workers displaced by the bad trade deals that encourage outsourcing. GOP Reveals Plan for Deep Cuts to EPA, Job Training and More,
Republicans unveiled a budget plan last week for the rest of the 2011 fiscal year that would give billions less than President Obama would have liked to programs like the Environmental Protection Agency, federal job training, high speed rail development and more.
High-speed rail projects don’t create jobs? And when complete they don’t boost the economy forever after, creating even more jobs? Huh?
Lost Your Job To Outsourcing? Too Bad!
One particular job area is the bipartisan program for workers who lose their jobs due to outsourcing from trade deals like NAFTA. Not only are they pushing more NAFTA-style trade deals, they are getting rid of the only programs in place to help the workers who lose their jobs. This is bubbling up from the “make-them-work” element of the right, that sees citizens as nothing more than “the help.”
The House leadership continues to show its “blatant lack of concern for American workers who have lost their jobs because of unfair trade deals,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said today. In the latest bold move against working people, House leaders abruptly refused to schedule a vote yesterday on extending expiring Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) programs.
TAA programs, which enjoyed bipartisan support in the past, provide aid and training to workers who lose their jobs or see their hours or wages reduced due to unfair trade deals and increased imports.
What You Can Do
The AFL-CIO has launched a campaign telling the Congress that We, the People demand they continue these programs:
Last week on Tuesday, House Republicans—under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner—abruptly refused to schedule a vote to renew help for victims of outsourcing.
The expiring program—called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA)—provides financial help and training for workers who lose their jobs or see their hours or wages reduced due to outsourcing, offshoring or increased imports.
Sign our petition to House Speaker John Boehner. Demand that House Republicans help workers who have been displaced by unfair trade deals like NAFTA. (We’ll also copy your representative).
March 10 Summit on Jobs and America’s Future
On March 10, 2011, the Summit on Jobs and America’s Future will bring together leaders and activists who understand that America faces a jobs crisis – and who are committed to building a political movement for sustainable economic growth, dynamic job creation, and a revival of the American economy.
This post originally appeared at the Campaign for America’s Future (CAF).
Johnson also is a fellow at the Commonweal Institute and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for the Renewal of the California Dream.
Follow Dave Johnson on Twitter: www.twitter.com/dcjohnson
Posted February 16, 2011 at 8:00 am, in From Campaign for America's Future