Thursday, February 19, 2009

Will Congress Ever Represent the Public Interest?

Now that President Obama and the Dem-controlled congress has spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.5 Trillion over the past few weeks, one wonders from where - especially in the stimulus bill - the new jobs are going to come.

There is plenty of money being thrown at Wall Street banking interests, state governments, food stamps, unemployment insurance, mortgage defaults and public works projects, but nowhere is found a single tax credit or incentive for small businesses to actually hire anyone.

It seems that since small business creates more than 90% of private sector jobs, congress would have included something along those lines, maybe even (my idea here) swapping unemployment benefits for actual work. My concept would put to work people collecting unemployment, by requiring them to find a job in a relevant industry. The business would only have to pay a small amount for, say, six months, like 1/4 to 1/3 of the amount the recipient is receiving in benefits, while the worker is integrated into the business.

Not only would the worker have a job guaranteed after his benefits run out, the government would pick up much of the tab during the initial period. Of course, the business would have to keep all current employees on the job (to avoid cheating the system) during this period and guarantee employment to the worker for at least another 6 months to a year.

Well, that's just one idea, but another would be for congress to actually get up to speed with the rest of us by running some public surveys available in 360 degree software or other such programs.

Imagine congress sending an email to constituents, or putting a public interest poll on their taxpayer-funded web sites with real choices for real legislative options.

Maybe it's just too much to ask of our special interest congress. But, it is nice to think about.

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