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A Supercommittee for Jobs

August 11, 2011 - by Donny Shaw

We saw during the debt ceiling standoff that the political-party-driven, filibuster-choked Congress is basically incapable of passing deficit reduction legislation. That’s why they created the “joint select committee on deficit reduction” (a.k.a. the “Supercommittee”) and established special rules and a spending-cut trigger that make their proposal more likely to pass. But Congress has been equally ineffective when it comes to addressing another important problem plaguing the economy — unemployment. Even very mild, traditionally bipartisan job creation plans are being caught up in the gridlock and killed. So, if Congress actually wants to fix unemployment, why not create a “joint select committee on job creation” and give them the same special powers they gave the deficit committee? That’s exactly what Rep. John Larson [D, CT] is suggesting:

Rep. John Larson (Conn.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus, wants to amend the recently passed debt-limit package to establish a joint select committee on job creation to operate alongside the already mandated Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction.

In a “Dear Colleague” letter sent to House members earlier in the week, Larson argued that the nation’s jobs crisis is only exacerbating its long-term fiscal problems and therefore demands Congress’s immediate attention.

“This high unemployment poses a very real short-term fiscal crisis, because it drains the federal coffers through increased government spending and reduced tax revenues,” Larson wrote in the Aug. 8 letter.

“Families are being forced out of their homes, children are being forced to forgo higher education, the elderly are being forced to retire early without nearly enough saved to cover their long-term costs,” he said. “If not addressed, I believe the social costs of unemployment will dramatically damage the United States’ status in the world and prevent us from emerging from this recession.”


“This would allow the Congress to simultaneously consider both our near-term (high unemployment) and our long-term (growing debt) challenges later this year,” Larson wrote. “Just like the Deficit Committee, all options would be on the table. We owe the American people nothing less.”

Put something drastic and unpopular on it as a trigger — something like Rep. John Conyers’ bill to tax Wall Street transactions to finance a direct government jobs program — and force everyone in Congress who’s talking about wanting to create jobs to put up or shut up. The ratings agency that is the American public has already downgraded Congress; recent polling data shows the highest congressional disapproval rating ever. Still, I’m guessing Larson’s letter is going to fall on deaf ears and members of Congress will do what they do every election cycle to win re-election despite low approval ratings — raise tons of special-interest money, manipulate the media, and mislead voters about their legislative records.

Rep. Larson is pictured above. 

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  • nancym 08/11/2011 1:49pm

    The summer is half over, but the Congressional recess is just starting. The Tea Party grabbed the reins during that period last year, but the true majority in this country are starting to wake up as conditions get worse, and they’ll give an even bigger earful to their Congressmen in upcoming townhalls and district meetings before those representatives go back to DC this fall. The rallying cry is jobs, not deficits, duh!

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  • b58 08/12/2011 8:57am

    I think government has got so big and it has got to the point they think they don’t have to listen to the people or even care what is happening to them as far as jobs or anything else like being kicked out of their homes. The only time Washington cares about the people and that is when it is election time . Then they are back to their groupies and power plays to PONZI SCHEME TAX money out of the people and bankrupt this country. The really bad thing is to have three people in Washington that has really done the worst damage to our country in the history of our nation. Obama, Reid , and Pelosi that has taken this country to 14 trillion dollars in debt and still spending even though they are borrowing it from China. It is apparent that the rest of Washington is in on the schemes or they would be working to put a stop to the mess. We the people needs to demand removal of all in Washington.

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  • james0021 02/28/2012 12:30am

    The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, colloquially referred to as the Supercommittee, was a joint select committee of the United States Congress, created by the Budget Control Act of 2011 on August 2, 2011.Fast Cash Loans

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