As I pick up the pace of work again, coming into the midterms, I have to get some stories cleared off the desk in order to make room for some others, and that’s what we’re about today.
We’ll be talking about saving more than 300,000 of this country’s most important jobs, and paying for it in a way that is not only good policy, but is a real problem for Republicans who are yelling “no new taxes!” once again while pretending they care about actually paying for actual spending and actually want to cut actual unemployment.
We have a bit of work to do today, but we want to keep it somewhat short...so let’s get going.
So across my desk have come documents that report how many jobs will be saved by the House coming back into session to vote out H.R. 1586 and send it to the President for his signature.
Long story short, after all the commemorative pens have been distributed about 319,000 more people will be working, including 161,000 more teachers who will be in class this year then there would have been there if it wasn’t for this bill...and as it happens, that many teachers is actually about 25,000 more people than the total number of workers in all of America’s coal mines combined.
It’s going to cost $10 billion for the “save the teacher’s jobs” part of the bill; another $16.1 billion will be paid to states to help them pay for their share of Medicare expenses this fiscal year, that will allow them to avoid laying off the remaining 158,000 workers, many of whom are working for someone like Child Protective Services or are State Troopers or are working for your State’s Department of Corrections...and about 80,000 of those jobs are private sector jobs, as contractors who work for the various states are also kept on the job.
To give you an idea of just how many teachers we’re talking about, Florida will have 9200 more this fall than they would have otherwise, Illinois will have 5700 more, Kentucky, 2200 more, and in California there’ll be about 16,500 more teachers in the classrooms this fall than if this bill wasn’t going to pass.
You can look up how many more teachers your State is estimated to have this fall at a handy page on the House Committee on Education and Labor’s website.
I don’t have a handy chart for the remaining workers, but if those jobs are more or less distributed the same way you could expect California, as an example, to save a total of about 33,000 jobs with just this one bill, and Florida to save about 18,000.
How badly do states need the money?
By an amazing coincidence, as I’m putting this story together I’m watching tonight’s “The Rachel Maddow Show”, and sure as life, she’s working the same story...and she’s reporting that Paul Krugman’s reporting that several states are literally unpaving their roads because they can’t afford to maintain them any more.
So here’s the best part: it’s all paid for by closing a variety of tax loopholes and recovering money that wasn’t being used from other programs, so no new deficit spending or additions to debt are required.
The tax loopholes?
They take aim at the various methods multinational companies are using to shield US income from US tax collectors; these mostly involve getting a Post Office box in the Cayman Islands, or something similar, and more or less claiming all your US business is derived from your new “regional office”, or that you believe you paid all your income taxes on your US income to some other government.
Our Republican friends are going nutty about this, claiming, as John Boehner just did on “Meet The Press”, that: “...they want to raise the taxes on the American people .”
This is particularly tough for Republicans because they’re dying to save The Bush Tax Cuts For The Really, Really Rich, all $800 billion worth of ‘em, without explaining how they would be paid for, all the while complaining about the much, much, lower cost of paying for saving these 300,000 jobs—and, in the very next sentence, saying they hate deficits...and if you check out the transcript from that “Meet the Press” interview, you’ll see that David Gregory asked Boehner about how he planned on paying for the $800 billion in tax cuts he wants, three different times, and he wouldn’t give a straight answer once.
So when people ask you: “What’s Washington doing about jobs?”, you can tell them they’re not only saving about a third of a million of the jobs that fight fires, and put criminals in jail, and teach your kids this fall—and paying for it, to boot—but those smaller classrooms are also making it more likely that your kids will have better jobs when they grow up; all of that without much help from our Republican friends, who’s biggest job right now seems to be figuring out how to borrow another $800 billion from you and China to give away to their wealthiest friends.
Which is its own special kind of job...and I’m pretty sure the word “snow” is somehow involved in the job description.