President Obama traveled to the Buckeye State today, where he delivered a speech at Cincinnati’s annual AFL-CIO Labor Day picnic. The president introduced his new manufacturing czar and promote his controversial health care initiative.
While Mr. Obama received a friendly hearing, his remarks provided little comfort to the one in ten Ohio workers who are without jobs on this Labor Day. They couldn’t care less about a manufacturing czar. And a government takeover of the nation’s health care system is hardly what they are looking for right now.
What they want are jobs. And what they want to hear from the President is what his administration is going to do for them to get them off the unemployment rolls and into new jobs.
Indeed, to revive the hurting home building and real estate industries, the federal government continues to offer an $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers. To resuscitate the ailing auto industry, the federal government offered new car buyers a credit of up to $4,500 through the “cash for clunkers” program.
So why not stimulate hiring by offering employers a temporary tax credit of, say, $5,000 to $10,000 for every new worker they hire between now and next Labor Day? Call it the “Wampum for Workers” program.
In his weekly radio address, in advance of Labor Day address, Mr. Obama said, “We’re putting Americans back to work again.” He cited “tens of thousands of recovery projects” throughout the country that are underway, “repairing our nation’s roads, bridges, ports and waterways; renovating schools; and developing renewable energy.”
Well, that’s fine for those who rely of public works projects for gainful employment. But for the other 90 to 95 percent of the American labor force, the federally-subsidized public works jobs are of no help to them.
That’s why “Wampum for Workers” makes far more sense. It would encourage hiring not just in public works, but also in such leading employment sectors as computers, software and related services, restaurants and hospitality, banks, insurers and other financial services, department stores and general merchandise, health care, telecommunications, and travel and tourism.