Hire Americans First!

Posted on October 11, 2009. Filed under: unemployment | Tags: , , , , |

by Pat Buchanan

September’s unemployment figures were not only disappointing — they were grim. For the 21st straight month, Americans lost jobs. Fifteen million are out of work — 5 million for more than six months.

But as The Washington Times asserts, “America’s jobless crisis is much worse than the 9.8 percent unemployment rate.”

The U.S. economy actually lost 785,000 jobs in September, which should have pushed the 9.7 percent August unemployment figure far higher than just 0.1 percent to 9.8 percent.

What kept the increase to 0.1 percent?

Over 800,000 people quit the labor force in September. They packed it in. They stopped looking for work. That is six times the number who quit looking in August and five times the monthly average of those who have given up the search for work in the year since Lehman Brothers died.

Adding to the near 15 million unemployed those who have given up looking for work and those who have taken low-paying part-time jobs, the Times estimates the true employment rate at 17 percent. We used to call that a depression.

Yet, with nearly 25 million Americans unemployed, or no longer looking for work, or in low-wage part-time jobs, 8.5 million U.S. jobs are believed to be held by illegal aliens who broke into the country or overstayed their visas.

Why is this not a matter of national outrage?

For every job opening in the country, there are six unemployed Americans. With this surplus of idle labor and shortage of jobs, the men who do the hiring are in the catbird’s seat. They can cut wages in the knowledge that desperate Americans will have to accept what is offered.

Comes the rote response: Immigrants and illegal aliens only take jobs Americans do not want and will not do. But, last month, a front-page article in USA Today demolished that argument.

When a 2006 raid on six Swift & Co. meatpacking plants rounded up 1,200 illegal aliens, 10 percent of the workforce, Swift was up and running at full staff within months. How? Native-born Americans in the hundreds came out and took the jobs.

Says Vanderbilt University Professor Carol Swain, “Whenever there’s an immigration raid, you find white, black and legal immigrant labor lining up to do these jobs Americans will supposedly not do.”

At one of the Swift plants out West, a workforce that had been 90 percent Hispanic, legal and illegal, before the raids is now a mixture of white Americans and Hispanic-Americans. Illegal aliens lost the jobs, and American citizens got them.

A House of Raeford Farms plant in North Carolina that was more than 80 percent Hispanic before a federal investigation now has a workforce 70 percent African-American. Continued… TownHall.com

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Democrats’ Offer Economic Relief Proposals, but Don’t Call It a Second Stimulus

Posted on October 10, 2009. Filed under: Congress | Tags: , , , , |

WASHINGTON — Confronted with big job losses and no sign the U.S. economy is ready to stand on its own, Democrats are working on a growing list of relief efforts, leaving for later how to pay for them, or whether even to bother.

Proposals include extending and perhaps expanding a popular tax credit for first-time home buyers, and creating a new credit for companies that add jobs. Taken together, the proposals look a lot like another economic stimulus package, though congressional leaders don’t want to call it that.

Democratic leaders in Congress and the White House say they have no appetite for another big spending package that adds to the federal budget deficit, which hit a record $1.4 trillion for the budget year that ended last week.

But with unemployment reaching nearly 10 percent, 

many lawmakers are feeling pressure to act. Some of the proposals come from the Republicans’ playbook and focus on tax cuts, even though they, too, would swell the deficit.

“We have to do something for the unemployed, politically and economically,” said Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

The House already has voted to extend unemployment benefits an additional 13 weeks for laid off workers in the 27 states where the jobless rate is 8.5 percent or above. Senate Democrats reached a deal Thursday to extend the benefits an additional 14 weeks in every state. Both proposals are paid for by extending a federal unemployment tax.

Also on the table: extending subsidies for laid-off workers to help them keep the health insurance their former employers provided, known as COBRA. The current program, which covers workers laid off through the end of the year, costs nearly $25 billion.

Congressional leaders haven’t settled on the length of an extension, or how to pay for it.

Several bills would issue extra payments to the more than 50 million Social Security recipients, to make up for the lack of a cost-of-living increase next year. One bill would set the one-time payments at $250, matching the amount paid to Social Security recipients and railroad retirees as part of the stimulus package enacted in February.

Read the rest at FoxNews.com

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