People need jobs, the New York Times points out in its lead editorial today, and the Times has a daring and novel proposal on how to create them:
1. Spend $50 billion to hire 500,000 construction workers to fix our crumbling schools. Pay for this by raising taxes. When the schools are fixed, fire them. No one will notice.
2. Hire “one million young people for projects in federal parks, community centers and college campuses, as well as 350,000 laid-off teachers, police officers, firefighters and health care providers.” Pay for this by “borrowing at today’s low rates…to be paid for over time by
closing tax loopholes” raising taxes. It doesn’t matter what the “young people” do for this largesse, as long as they do it in cool places like federal parks, community centers and college campuses, and stay away from anything remotely associated with generating revenues. And what about non-young people? The Times has no comfort for them, unless they happen to be teachers, police officers, firefighters or health care workers.
The Times notes that “Republicans are sure to howl that new programs will undo the debt ceiling bill.” Yes, they will undo the debt ceiling bill the way a broadsword will undo a Windsor knot, but “it is surely possible to over a ten-year period to tackle near-term action on jobs and long-term action on deficit reduction,” The Times cannily observes. And “long-term action on deficit reduction” is the very, very best thing, because that means we don’t have to even think about it today. After all, that strategy has worked really well so far, hasn’t it? As for Republicans, they are all selfish scoundrels who want our children to starve — let them “howl;” no right-thinking person will listen anyway.
Let’s put America back to work. You pay for it. It’s only your “fair share.”