Finally, a jobs plan that will work

Representative Jan Schakowsky's job plan is simple, direct, and effective

Lauren Victoria Burke/AP/File
In this file photo, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill. gestures during a news confernece on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schakowsky introduced her jobs plan on Thursday.

All day long I heard one lousy argument after another about how stimulus doesn’t work, the President’s jobs plan won’t work, no taxes on the table, cut budgets, cut spending, cut corporate taxes.

And then, like a ray of sun through very dark clouds, I learn that Rep Jan Schakowsky (D-Il) introduced her jobs bill. It’s a great plan, built around two simple ideas. First, the most direct forms of job creation are likely to be the most effective. Second, while it is by now well understood that we have deep infrastructure deficiencies across the land, there is also untapped demand for human services, from teachers to child and health care workers.

Rep Schakowsky’s plan is thus heavy on infrastructure and human service and light on tax cuts (i.e., there are none). Here are the components…more details here.

  • “The School Improvement Corps would create 400,000 construction and 250,000 maintenance jobs by funding positions created by public school districts to do needed school rehabilitation improvements.
  • The Park Improvement Corps would create 100,000 jobs for youth between the ages of 16 and 25 through new funding to the Department of the Interior and the USDA Forest Service’s Public Lands Corps Act. Young people would work on conservation projects on public lands include restoration and rehabilitation of natural, cultural, and historic resources.
  • The Student Jobs Corps would create 250,000 more part-time, work study jobs for eligible college students through new funding for the Federal Work Study Program.
  • The Neighborhood Heroes Corps would hire 300,000 teachers, 40,000 new police officers, and 12,000 firefighters.
  • The Health Corps would hire at least 40,000 health care providers, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and health care workers to expand access in underserved rural and urban areas.
  • The Child Care Corps would create 100,000 jobs in early childhood care and education through additional funding for Early Head Start.
  • The Community Corps would hire 750,000 individuals to do needed work in our communities, including housing rehab, weatherization, recycling, and rural conservation.”

As readers here know, I’m a strong supporter of the President’s jobs plan and view it as smart on both the economics and the politics. And with the pushback it’s getting, it makes a lot of sense for D’s to get behind that plan and fight for it with solidarity (note that school repair, teachers/police/etc., and neighborhood rehab are in both the President’s and Rep S’s plans).

But there will be horse trading, and the more that Rep Schakowsky’s ideas end up in the final product, the more jobs we’re likely to create or save.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.