“Responding directly to national demand for a massive jobs program,” members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, December 13, 2011, introduced the Restore the American Dream for the 99 Percent Act into the House of Representatives.
The bill would create more than 4 million jobs and reduce the deficit by more than $2 trillion over the next 10 years, making it the biggest government effort thus far to marshal the resources needed to address the economic crisis.
While no one expects the bill to pass in the Republican-controlled House, the left views the Bill as a blueprint of what must be done by the Obama Administration to maintain “progressive” support in 2012. The socialist wish list is all there, from the Works Progress Administration-like works schemes, so successfully colonized by the communists in the ’30s, trade protectionism, tax increases, a financial transactions tax, to massive increases in government intrusion into health and education.
This “jobs” bill even calls for “eliminating unneeded weapons systems” and the reduction by half of US forces in Europe. No doubt the Communist Party’s old allies in Russia will be very happy about this one.
The bill would create several “corps” that will offer government jobs to the unemployed doing essential work including repairing school buildings, maintaining public parks, building neighborhood energy efficiency and conservation projects, and providing health care and other public services in underserved areas. One of the corps would be specifically devoted to re-hiring teachers and first responders laid off by cash-strapped state and local governments .
There are provisions in the bill that require 75 percent of the goods and services purchased by the federal government to be made in America, provisions designed to help small businesses get federal contracts, and allocation of $50 billion alone for highway, public transportation and electrical grid improvement projects.
- The bill includes provisions that would raise $800 billion through a surcharge on millionaires and billionaires, end tax subsidies for oil companies, and impose a tiny financial transactions tax on Wall Street.
- There would be other budget savings through ending the war in Afghanistan and slashing $200 billion from the defense budget by eliminating unneeded weapons systems and cutting in half the military forces currently stationed in Europe.
The bill also strengthens health care reform by creating a public health insurance option that would be available through health care exchanges.
“The Republicans want the people to think about how bad things are and to focus their anger on the president,” said Grijalva. “They don’t want people to count the things the Republicans voted down that would have helped this country.”
“This bill,” said Ellison, “shows we can put people to work today by building for tomorrow.