President Barack Obama supports the free trade deals, but both the White House and congressional Democrats say they must be linked to renewal of expired provisions of a program that provides training and financial aid to workers displaced by foreign competition.
Obama has put off formally submitting the free trade bills to Congress until he receives assurances he will get votes on the worker aid program. He is expected to address the issue during his jobs policy address to Congress on Thursday.
Like I said, I didn’t listen to the speech, so I don’t know if this was addressed. But really. Paying to retrain people whose jobs have been sent overseas while setting up trade laws so that more jobs can be sent overseas? I am confused.
It was excessively generous of Paul Krugman to describe Barack Obama’s jobs plan as “bold,” given the fact that it’s long-overdue and just happens to coincide with the start of Obama’s re-election campaign…
(Which makes my record pretty much perfect. Except for the odd 30 seconds here and there, I haven’t been entranced by the Golden Voice of Reason.)
But I do read David Dayen over at FDL. In this post he’s talking about the liberal bona fides of the jobs programs Obama listed.
School infrastructure repair and remodel sounds like a sure thing, 30 billion to 35,000 publics schools; that’s $85,000 per school. When you throw in community colleges at an unknown number, I worry that it might be too diluted, but still. Good.
The Job creation/ payroll tax thing? Sure sounds like a way for companies to cheat. We’ll see. Seems too little, and too easy to hire people and then whack them off the payroll – for profit! But I am much too dark these days.
But for sure, the work sharing program. I don’t know about other places, but I know that a lot of people in my old town used unemployment benefits to boost their income when the Company started into laying off for half-days, half-weeks, only to find out that each part-week they claimed counted as a full week of unemployment benefits, so that when they finally lost their jobs altogether, they had used up their benefit weeks without using up their benefit dollars.
I need somebody to clarify this, to promise that these job-sharers aren’t just getting fucked over under a different program.
And sincere thanks for your consistently great work, Mr. Dayen. I trust you, which is why I read you.