Democrats furious that Republicans refuse to support veterans jobs bill creating zero jobs for veterans
Last week, Democrats failed to pass S. 3457, the ‘‘Veterans Jobs Corps Act of 2012’’, falling two votes shy when Republicans forced a point-of-order vote, as the bill exceeded spending limits contained in the Budget Control Act. Had it passed, the measure would have created zero jobs for unemployed, post-9/11 veterans.
Co-sponsor Patty Murray (D, WA) implied her Republican colleagues were using veterans as “political pawns.” Just before the vote on S. 3457, Senate Democrats shot down a similar GOP bill that would have also created zero jobs for veterans. Both sides accused the other of being out of touch.
Across the social media interwebs, angry proglodytes slandered Republicans as heartless bastards for depriving needy veterans of zero jobs.
What exactly would the brainchild of Murray and Bill Nelson (D, FL) have done?
- Create a pilot program “to assess the feasibility and advisability of providing veterans seeking employment with access to computing facilities” to match vet’s jobs skills with available jobs;
- Ensure that there are “at least one disabled veterans’ outreach program specialist and one local veterans’ employment representative per 5,000 square miles”;
- Require States to consider military training “when approving or denying a commercial driver’s license” or EMT certificate;
- Conduct a trial program to provide retraining programs at off-base locations.
These impactful initiatives, costing $1 billion over five years, were to have been funded by making passport applicants pay their back taxes. Nelson had the gall to call the bill, which was essentially a glorified online resumé bank, “commonsense legislation.” Tom Coburn (R, OK) described it as “a gimmick” and “crap.” (Coburn was later caught on a live mic describing the kettle as “black.”)
Check that list again to see if any actual jobs would have been created. Nope, zero. But wait — advocates insisted the measure would have “potentially created jobs for up to 20,000 veterans.“
That’s $50,000 per potential job. According to White House figures, 707,000 vets are unemployed. At this rate, it would cost $35,350,000,000 to provide each of them with a potential job. We’d need to spend $1,000,000,000,000 to give every unemployed person in America a potential job.
‘Even so,’ you say, ‘surely we ought to do something to help veterans find jobs?’ Of course. We already do.
In August, the White House bragged that its Joining Forces Initiative had exceeded its goal of 125,000 vets hired by private employers. The same companies pledged to hire another 250,000 by 2014. The top participant in the program, Amazon.com, actively seeks out veterans, and did so long before any financial incentives were offered by the government.
The bipartisan Vow to Hire Heroes Act, signed into law last November, established a slew of job assistance programs with catchy names:
- The Veterans Job Bank, an “easy to use online service“ that “connects unemployed veterans to job openings with companies that want to hire them”, lists over half a million jobs openings “specifically targeted at Veterans”;
- My Next Move for Veterans, an “easy-to-use online tool … that allows veterans to enter information about their experience and skills in the field, and match it with civilian careers”;
- A Veteran Gold Card allows post-9/11 veterans to “access six months of personalized case management, assessments and counseling at the roughly 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country.”;
- Hero 2 Hired (H2H), a “comprehensive employment program … that offers everything a … job seeker needs to find their next opportunity” — job listings, those indispensable “career exploration tools,” training resources, “virtual career fairs,” plus nifty Facebook and mobile apps;
- The Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) for 45,000 qualified applicants each year;
- A hundred hiring fairs sponsored by the Dept. of Commerce, which also went to the considerable effort of creating “strategic partnerships to deal with specific populations of veterans and their unique challenges”;
So you can see how GOP senators are such evil fucks for refusing to spend $1 billion on another online job bulletin board.
CCC My Ass
S. 3457’s sponsors said the bill was “inspired by” FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps. It’s nothing of the sort.
The CCC was operated by the Army and directly employed 250,000 young men at a time, providing them good pay, shelter, food and clothing. They planted 3 billion trees, created 800 new parks, upgraded nearly every state park in the nation, stocked nearly a billion fish, built hundreds of thousands of miles of roads and trails, performed erosion control on 40 million acres of farmland, and spend 6.5 million work-days fighting fires. The CCC ran for nine years, cost a bargain $3 billion, and gainfully employed a total of 2.5 million.
S. 3567 is a resumé posting service.
We’re 1,345 days into obama’s administration, and that’s the best he and the Democrats can come up with. In comparison:
March 4, 1933 FDR takes office
March 27 CCC bill introduced to Congress
March 31 Congress passes CCC
April 7 First enrollee
July 1 1,500 CCC camps running with 317,000 participants
200,000 Chain Saws
The two parties in power offer conflicting approaches to job creation. Democrats rely on a recipe of hiring incentives, retraining programs, re-invent Monster.com several times over, more retraining programs. The GOP places it faith in tax breaks, tax breaks, spam, easing regulations, tax breaks, and spam. Truth is, neither the Gops nor the Dems have any clue whatsoever how to create jobs, for veterans or anyone else.
As noted above, under the Democrats’ brilliant plan, it would take $35 billion to help every unemployed vet check online to see if by chance a job was waiting for them. I have a plan to use that dough to give 250,000 out-of-work vets — the same number the CCC employed — a job for the next three years. And I’ll put them to good use, clearing the dangerously overgrown forests of the American West.
Wildfires consumed a record number of acres this season, costing billions in damages and related costs. Thanks to global warming, wildfires are seven times worse than they were in the 1970’s. Unless the overgrowth is cleared, things will only get worse.
I’ll ask the US Military to provide some planning and logistical support gratis, and the program is fully funded without need to increase the federal deficit.
I call it the War on Forest Fires Program (WOFF)
WOFF is a three-year program with a goal of: a) reducing wildfire volume by 1/3; b) providing gainful employment and on-the-job training for 250,000 veterans currently without jobs.
WOFF will employ crews of ex-military personnel across the Western United States to clear overgrown brush and trees on Federal, State, and local land. Private landowners will be able to contract with WOFF to clear their land.
The total cost of the program is $35.7 billion, and is fully funded by savings in the military budget. WOFF will also generate significant cost savings to the Federal, state, and local governments in the billions of dollars, resulting from reduced losses to wildfire. Additional benefits will be acrued from indirect stimulus of the economy through purchases.
Personnel & Salary
All 227,000 unemployed veterans of the post-9/11 era will be employed in fuel-reduction activities. Pay will be based on experience and former rank. They will receive, on average, the median the 2012 Army E5 salary, or c. $34,000.
A further 23,000 veterans of the Gulf war era will be hired for supervisory and administrative roles. Pay will be based on experience and former rank. They will receive, on average, the high end of the 2012 Army E6 salary, or c. $40,000.
Housing, food, and clothing will be provided for all participants in the program, as will travel expenses for regular familial visits.
During the fire season, the entire compliment of WOFF will be available to augment existing civilian fire-fighting personnel.
Old vets $2.8 billion
Young vets $25.9 billion
Total salary $28.7 billion
Forestry equipment will be purchased from American manufacturers. While the actual equipment required will be diverse, the following examples can serve as a rough estimate of costs (extensions reflect a 15% volume discount.)
Item Qty. Ext.
pulaski 216,000 $27,000,000
chain saw 216,000 $171,000,000
‘bobcat’ 10,000 $204,000,000
forestry dozer 1,000 $102,000,000
Total equipment $504,000,000
All additional equipment and materials shall be provided on loan, at no charge, from the US Military.
Administrative Costs & Supplies
Assume 25% overhead based on salaries.
Total Program Cost
To fund the program, I shall not rely on passport applications. First thing we need to do is end the war in Afghanistan. It’s costing us $300 million a day, and I’m earmarking the first 119 days’ of savings for WOFF.
Alternately, 23 of the 4,702 oversees military bases (4.9%) can be shut down for an average savings of $1.5 billion per base.
Significant financial benefits will be realized from WOFF.
A detailed analysis by The Western Forestry Leadership Coalition estimates the total costs of wildfires exceeds $3,000 per acre.
To date in 2012, 8.7 million acres have burned in the United States, for a total cost of around $30 billion dollars.
If WOFF’s goal of reducing fires by 1/3 is achieved, the program will have paid for itself in just over three years.
How Hard Can it Be?
It took FDR 36 days to put a quarter of a million men back to work with the CCC — just one of the many programs he implemented in his first 100 days. The current Dems and Gops in Washington have spent the past twelve years bickering, posturing, and floating asinine schemes while our economy dies and one in five can’t find work.
As my back-of-the-envelope exercise above shows, It shouldn’t be that hard to come up with real solutions to our pressing problems. Yet, apparently, it is beyond the faculties of our Congress and our President.
Patty Murray and Bill Nelson are incompetent, delusional imbeciles. Their colleagues in Congress, on both sides of the aisle, are all incompetent, delusional imbeciles. (Bernie Sanders gets a pass.) So, let’s fire the lot of them and elect instead some ordinary citizens with brains and real common sense.
And vote for Jill Stein.
(c) 2012 by True Liberal Nexus. All rights reserved.