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"Do-Nothing" Congress Evolves Into "Do-Little" Congress... or, if you want to do a job right, don't give it to Congress
Saturday, 14 November 2009 08:17
by Peter Stern

First the U.S. Congress generated the giant corporate bail-outs spending billions of our tax dollars.
Those were followed by huge bail-outs for the auto industry.
Top executive bonuses still are being paid out with taxpayer dollars.
As the economy continued to plummet, more jobs were lost and home foreclosures increased.
Then Congress implemented auto and appliance clunker programs.  Simply stated, that is a poor approach to injecting consumer dollars into the economy.
In short, Congress has done little for main street Americans.
There were long lines at the unemployment offices across the nation.  Many Americans weren't even eligible for unemployment insurance benefits because they had been jobless for one year or two.

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The American people were promised jobs; however, thousands of jobs still are being cut by many companies.  Congress provided several extensions of unemployment benefits for those who had reached their maximum time.  Meanwhile, Congress has not made good on the promise to develop jobs for those Americans who need them.
Developing jobs is an easy thing to do.  It can be accomplished two ways.  First, Congress could provide special incentives, e.g., tax credits, to businesses for creating jobs and hiring U.S. citizens to fill them.  The second option is for Congress to implement a domestic work plan that creates federal jobs to rebuild our infrastructures, e.g., bridges, roads, tunnels, dams, harbors, etc.
However, our Congress is NOT developing new jobs.  It is NOT rewarding the business sector for hiring American citizens.
So, what is Congress doing?
Once again Congress is engaging in short-term "solutions" to help jobless Americans.  It agreed to extend unemployment benefits again for up to 20 weeks. 
This is like placing a Band-Aid on a deep wound --- it won't work.
Congress can not expect to continue this lackadaisical and disingenuous approach to strengthen our economy.  Americans need jobs.  Jobs provide salaries.  Salaries give Americans money to make purchases.  Purchases provide profits to businesses who then reinvest and motivate our ailing economy.
Americans need to ask their Congress that great old question classic comedian Oliver Hardy [knee-deep in frustration] used to ask so frequently of his simplistic partner Stan Laurel, "Why don't you do something to HELP me?"
Many Americans wish Congress had a good response to that question.
Peter Stern, a former director of information services, university professor and public school administrator, is a disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in Driftwood.
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