HIGHTOWER: A Real Jobs Bill

There is a bill in Congress that the media is ignoring ... but you and I should get behind.Sponsored by Rep. Matthew Martinez, it's an emergency jobs bill to begin using the productive capacity of millions of laid-off people who are now flooding America's job market ... and finding zero opportunity. This bill doesn't create low-paying, no-benefit, temporary "jobettes," but good jobs at union pay, giving people a chance to develop their skills and work their way into the middle class by doing work that America needs doing.Work like rebuilding our schools, bridges and other parts of our crumbling infrastructure. Bill Clinton is full of rhetoric about "building a bridge to the 21st Century," but most of us just need a safe bridge across the local river. So, let's put Americans to work on construction projects like bridges.Also, let's put these jobs where the greatest needs are, giving priority to laid-off workers, low-income youth and to others who most need the opportunity, and let's provide top-flight training to improve America's workplace skills.Won't this cost a bundle? Yes. About $250 billion. But we get back schools, roads, bridges and other real needs, plus we train and employ thousands of good workers who spend their wages in our local communities, spreading the wealth at the grassroots level.OK, Hightower, where you gonna get this money? Get it from the speculators and spoilers, bosses and bankers who have ripped-off billions from the people and done nothing for America but feather their own nest with it. Let's assess a tiny sales tax just on international currency exchanges. Assess a sales tax of 1/4 th of one percent on the value of these transactions . . . and you'll raise $250 Billion a year.To learn more about the Job Creation and Infrastructure Restoration Act, contact Rep. Matthew Martinez on 202-225-5464.Source:"The Martinez public works jobs bill-A matter of survival in 1997." National Labor Coalition Press Release: April 3, 1997. "Economic policy plans submitted for discussion." Press release from Concerned Americans for Reforming the Economy: April 9, 1997

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Thanks for your support!

Did you enjoy AlterNet this year? Join us! We're offering AlterNet ad-free for 15% off - just $2 per week. From now until March 15th.