Pass the Bill!

By Thomas Heaney

Pass it right away.

President Obama’s Jobs Bill targets domestic job production, aiming squarely to benefit America’s hurting middle class. This is not class warfare. It is much more than good political theater. It is what Americans overwhelmingly support. The bill accomplishes necessary infrastructure repair, investing in education, transportation, and broader bandwidth. These are exactly the right prescriptions for the country right now.

Waiting for private sector players like AT&T to act punishes today’s public school children needlessly. Injecting dollars into the local economy while simultaneously building infrastructure is a win-win for all who participate.

In Wisconsin we have already seen our governor give back stimulus money rather than use it to generate jobs. Citizens of Ohio, Florida and others have seen their Republican governors follow suit. Worse yet, many of the jobs lost in these states were public sector jobs deliberately cut by Republicans in their misguided attempts to privatize everything. Collateral damage to the public sector in local economies was a direct result of these Governors’ reckless behavior. So who’s to blame? I’d say the Governors and their enabling legislators..

Blaming the President for a failed stimulus when huge amounts were never spent is off base. Much of the stimulus worked where it was spent. It worked less in states like Wisconsin where stimulus money was deliberately not spent, robbing local citizens of transportation infrastructure, and limiting rural internet access for school districts in need of an upgrade.

The President’s bill deserves broad bipartisan support. It contains many elements previously supported by Republicans. It will create jobs, but only if the money is actually spent. No reason to spend a lot of time debating it. Just pass it. Pass it right away.

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