Jobs Baby Jobs!
President-elect Barack Obama has promised $15 billion per year towards green energy and green infrastructure. While seemingly a large figure, it is a drop in the bucket, that will have little economic impact on the $14 trillion U.S. economy.
What is needed is a much larger investment in the Green economy, one that will create middle class jobs, and strengthen the overall economy by reducing government budget deficits. The following plan will inject $150 billion per year, ten times the amount Obama proposes, into the Green economy creating 27 million jobs over the next 3-5 years, and reduces annual government deficits by $100 billion.
1. Double the gas tax and generate an additional $38 billion per year in federal revenue. The price of gas at the pump has dropped $1 per gallon over the last few weeks, and it appears it will continue to decline, consumers will not notice a 17.4 cent additional tax. $30 billion for Green and $8 billion toward budget reduction
2. End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The American taxpayers spent $188 billion in 2008 on two needless and unpopular wars. $100 billion to Green and $88 billion to budget reduction. Give all veterans free Green Job training, to avoid repeating the mistake of Vietnam, and flooding our streets and prisons with homeless vets.
3. Cut the prison population in half. As one of the impacts of out-sourced manufacturing jobs, the prison population has nearly doubled during the Bush administration. The nation spends $49 billion per year, to house and feed 2.3 million of our fellow citizens, up 76% from 1.3 million in 2000.
Provide Green Job training in prisons, and as a diversion program for non-violent offenders, giving graduates the opportunity to work for the state installing a green infrastructure.Â $20 billion per year for Green and $4 billion in debt reduction.
Combined, this plan will generate $150 billion per year towards Green Jobs, and reduce budget deficits by $100 billion. Economist Robert Pollin, writing in The Nation magazine, estimates that 18 jobs are produced for every $1 million invested in green infrastructure. On the other hand, the military and oil industries, only produce 7.5 jobs for every $1 million spent.
The effect of a massive $150 billion per year investment, into the Green economy, would result in 27 million new jobs. Jobs that strengthen the economy, environment, and society. Jobs baby jobs.