As new leadership prepares to take control of the House of Representatives in January, families who are still suffering through the effects of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression will get the chance to see whether conservatives are serious about creating jobs, or whether they will continue spouting empty rhetoric while obstructing the very policies that spur economic growth.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made national headlines last week by announcing that he is canceling the nation’s largest public works project – and sacrificing nearly 50,000 jobs in the process. The Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) tunnel project would double the existing rail-commuting capacity from New Jersey to New York City with a nine-mile tunnel under the Hudson River to midtown Manhattan.
More than two years after Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched what may be
the most ambitious job retraining program in Michigan history, 16,164
workers have found new jobs but nearly twice that many either dropped
out or are still unable to find work.
The more-than-$500 million
No Worker Left Behind program may be well-intentioned and well-designed,
but with Michigan leading the nation in unemployment for most of the
past four years, success has been limited.
Last month, President Barack Obama signed the $17.5 billion Hiring
Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act into law to assist small
businesses and spur job creation. This was definitely a start, but the
gravity of the current crisis demands much bolder and quicker action.
Congress needs to enact further state fiscal relief to support jobs and
avoid the massive layoffs that threaten social and economic vitality in
As this Dispatch will highlight, the first step is to fund jobs
that support long-term economic competitiveness, notably by investing
in people and physical infrastructure. While the economic climate for
profit-making business opportunities is more limited, investments in
education, health care, transit and energy efficiency can create
immediate jobs while strengthening building blocks for long-term
On Tuesday, December 8th, President Barack Obama delivered an address to the Brookings Institution on
the need for increased focus on the job crisis that is affecting so
many working families across the country.