Signs Washington is Starting to Think About Jobs

Suddenly, all at once we’re seeing several signs that the government might finally be taking actionable steps towards ‘job creation.’  We use the term ‘job creation’ loosely, because the government doesn’t create jobs; innovation and production create jobs – but the government can do things to make innovation and production possible.  Here are a few things they’re doing.

First, House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson is preparing to introduce legislation to create a Joint Select Committee on Job Creation.  The legislation includes an amendment to the debt reduction bill, in which the new jobs committee would need to hand over their official Congressional recommendations for job creation by November 23.

The other recent attention to jobs comes from Congressman Mike Michaud.  On August 5, he introduced the Workforce Fairness and Tax Relief Act.  The bill allows workers who’ve been unemployed over 6 months to withdraw from their 401K retirement plans without penalty.  The bill also ensures unemployed workers aren’t taxed on their Trade Adjustment Assistance and unemployment benefits.

Three bills are under review in Congress, which would make it illegal to discriminate against unemployed job candidates.

Meanwhile, President Obama is talking about extending the two percent payroll tax cut, and unemployment benefits.  He’s also talking about an infrastructure bank, which would fund repairs to bridges, dams, and transportation networks.

Do you think these efforts are the right approach?  Is anyone doing anything about the skills gap?

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