Yesterday after House Republicans released their draconian budget assault on the majority of the population while enriching the wealthy, Wall Street, and the military industrial complex, President Obama stated the obvious about the Koch brothers’ vision for America.
He said, “What we’re seeing right now is a failure to invest in education, infrastructure, research and national defense. All the things that we need to grow, need to create jobs, stay at the forefront of innovation and to keep our country safe… It’s not a budget that is going to help ensure that middle-class families are able to maintain security and stability and that people who are trying to get into the middle class are going to have the rungs on the ladder to get into the middle class.”
No sane human being expected any Republican budget to help economic growth, infrastructure, job creation, or stay at the forefront of innovation much less help sustain or grow the middle class; that is not now, and has never been any part of any Republican budget. In fact, last year Mitch McConnell laid out the Republican plan to “help” the American people “thrive and prosper” after the Kochs bought control of Congress when he addressed the annual Koch billionaire confab titled, “American Courage: Our Commitment to a Free Society,”
McConnell promised that after the Koch’s bought the Senate, “We’re not going to be debating all these gosh darn proposals. That’s all we do in the Senate is vote on things like raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment, the student loan package; these people believe in all the wrong things.” Last April McConnell led Senate Republicans’ successful filibuster of a bill to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour regardless it was, and still is, a widely popular measure that would increase wages for at least 16.5 million Americans. Republicans would not allow, or help Americans find, decent paying jobs before the Kochs bought the Senate no matter how much Senator Elizabeth Warren pushes Republicans to help workers. However, President Obama, for the second time in less than six months, has taken it on himself to do what no Republican will consider; helping workers and this time instead of creating 50,000 living-wage jobs in solar energy, Obama will create half-a-million living-wage jobs in the high-technology industry.
The President launched an initiative last week to train 500,000 Americans for high-paying jobs in high-technology services. He is likely, like most struggling Americans, sick and damn tired of waiting for any Republican to lift one finger to either create even one job or counter the absurd wage stagnation in an economy that has been improving for the rich.
The president will be assailed by the likes of Koch acolyte McConnell who said anyone debating, much less, helping American workers with higher-wages “believes in all the wrong things. American workers and those seeking a means of clawing their way out of poverty into the middle class likely do not see half-a-million living-wage jobs as remotely “wrong things.”
It is true that unemployment has fallen to 5.5 percent, but very few workers are seeing more money in their paychecks. The President said to expedite enacting of the initiative, his Administration enlisted 21 cities or regions, and about 300 private-sector employers, to expand training programs. President Obama said part of the initiative was $100 million in federal money for grants to encourage innovative approaches.
In announcing the program called TechHire, the President said it will focus on regions of the country that already have 120,000 open technology jobs, but few highly-trained workers to fill them. President Obama was speaking to mayors and municipal leaders at a conference of the National League of Cities in Washington where he said; “We are going to more effectively capture what is the boundless energy and talent of Americans who have the will but sometimes need a little help clearing out the way. Help them get on a path to fill the new jobs of this century. And that’s what middle-class economics looks like.”
Right now there are approximately five million unfilled jobs in the United States, and the White House said about 500,000 of them are in high-tech areas like software development, network administration, and computer security. These are not Walmart or McDonalds poverty wage jobs either and will far exceed in helping workers exponentially more than any pathetic minimum wage hike to $10.10 per hour. In fact, the average job requiring technology skills pays at least 50 percent more than the average private-sector jobs including those paying more than $10.10 hourly. And they are not jobs that are going to become obsolete or replaced with robotics; they are jobs needed now and far into the future.
This is the second time in six months that President Obama did what Republicans refuse to do; help private industry create decent jobs. Republicans cannot be bothered helping Veterans find jobs because “America is broke” and helping any America, much less Veterans, is “too costly” while Republicans give billions to Israel, the oil industry, churches, and corporations. Late last October the President “took decisive action to address job creation for Veterans and reduce carbon dioxide emissions at the same time” with the launch of a six-year 50,000 job training program for America’s Veterans in the growing and high-paying solar panel installation industry. As an aside, in the House budget proposal, Republicans slashed funding for the Defense Department and CIA that studied the effects of global climate change installing solar panels at military bases will affect.
Fortunately the GOP’s budget cuts will go nowhere because as the President said, they do nothing to encourage research or bolster the national defense much less create one job. That task, like everything important to all Americans are the things Republicans oppose and reject out of hand and are left for President Obama to do on his own.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.