China Hub, Democrats, economic stimulus, jobs bill, Missouri Democrats, Missouri GOP, Missouri Legislative Session, Missouri Legislative Special Session, Missouri politics, Missouri Republican Party, Missouri Republicans, Missouri Unemployment
China Hub, Democrats, economic stimulus, jobs bill, Missouri Democrats, Missouri GOP, Missouri Legislative Session, Missouri Legislative Special Session, Missouri politics, Missouri Republican Party, Missouri Republicans, Missouri Unemployment
( – promoted by Clark)
Every now and again, an idea or concept or product comes along, spreads out all over the place and sets a new standard. Take, for example, ATM machines or UPC Barcode or even the internet; looking back, it’s hard to imagine those innovations not being ubiquitous and ever-present. We just accept them today as being an integral part of the modern landscape, like wallpaper or furniture, cars.
“Energy efficiency” is quickly becoming the latest standard centering around new retrofit construction techniques reducing the energy consumption of homes, offices and buildings.
Energy efficiency generates multiple benefits:
* Massive job creation and domestic economic stimulus
* Homeowners save money on energy bills
* Increase American energy independence
* First step in diversifying the US energy sector; renewable energy and smart grid rollout
* Good for the environment
Last week, Efficiency First organized over a 100 small business contractors from across the nation to travel to Washington DC to champion the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act in the US Senate, which had previously passed the US House with bi-partisan support. Home Star is a jobs bill, but it doesn’t stop there. It also supports the development of smart energy strategies and jump starts the energy efficiency industry. Home Star has sometimes been called “Cash for Caulkers” loosely named after the well-known “Cash for Clunkers” program. But whereas Cash for Clunkers often went to purchase foreign cars, just about Home Star’s whole kit-and-caboodle stays in the US.
Congressman Peter Welch (D-VT.), who had authored the US House version of Home Star, addressed the contractors, saying,
“We want to build up manufacturing in this country and 90% of the materials that are used in this work are manufactured in this country — so even without the whole debate about ‘buy American’ — it will be bought in America. This work will be done in America.”
Representing Missouri as chair of the Missouri Association of Accredited Energy Professionals (MAAEP), I advocated with other efficiency business owners to the offices of eight US Senators, including personal exchanges with Missouri’s Sen. Claire McCaskill and Sen. Sam Brownback of neighboring state Kansas. I applauded Senator Brownback on recent Kansas City successes with the number of energy efficiency retrofits leading the Midwest, including Kansas City Missouri’s Green Impact Zone.
Sen. Brownback indicated his support for Home Star, and said,
“Let’s try to find a way to get this done.”
Many potential solutions to get Home Star passed were talked about in the offices of Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK.), Tom Harkin (D-IA.), Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX.), Kit Bond (R-MO.) and Jeff Sessions (R-AL.) , to name a few our group visited (there were 8 Efficiency First groups).
Matt Golden, President of Recurve, Inc. and policy chair of Efficiency First had a lot to say about the struggling construction trades; how Home Star acts as a ‘shot in the arm’ building up a new industry that puts underemployed workers back on the job.
“For hundreds of thousands of American construction and manufacturing workers who have been sidelined by the recession, the proposed Home Star program – which now awaits Senate approval – represents a lifeline to good jobs with living wages in a growing 21st-century industry. While much of our economy appears to be on the road to recovery, the outlook for American construction workers is truly grim. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 2 million construction jobs dried up between December 2007 and January 2010, leaving around one in five experienced construction workers unemployed. And with demand for new buildings stalled at historically low levels, there’s little hope that these workers will be rehired in traditional construction jobs any time soon.”
This is where Home Star comes in.
Slated to begin creating 168,000 jobs the moment President Obama signs into law, Home Star is not just throwing money at a wall to see what sticks, it builds a market-driven rebate model that rewards home owners who reach higher levels of efficiency performance, which is good for our nation as a whole. Home Star also leverages private investment giving more bang for the buck. Home Star is a $6 billion program, so a state like Missouri is pro-rated to receive a potential $120 million dollars.
For details on the Home Star rebate program click here.
As I’ve said in the past, I believe in less than ten years, an energy audit and retrofit for an existing home or office will become as commonplace as the safety and emissions test for your car. It will be a new standard and this is a new industry taking hold the nation. Efficiency is about jobs, and domestically manufactured products like weather-strip, insulation and caulking. Estimates fly around about the size of this national revolution of retrofits, from 1 trillion dollars of economic activity to a recent figure I heard from the Department of Energy roadshow in Kansas City, a gargantuan 6 trillion dollars coast-to-coast! (presumably including commercial Real Estate)
In an era of incessant dismantling of entire legacy industries stateside, all Americans should lower their shoulders to help launch the energy efficiency industry into the mainstream–and all Americans can participate in its rollout. These jobs are quality American jobs that are insulated from outsourcing and as job creation is the prevailing social issue of the day, our collective support of this emerging new standard becomes the moral, patriotic and smart thing to do.
( – promoted by Clark)
All over America, the news is spreading that long-term investment in our national infrastructure, is — amazingly — a good idea. I guess people start to wake up when bridges start to fail, schools fall apart, etc; the writing’s on the crumbling wall, so-to-speak. Rebuilding America is a trillion dollar plus project. Levees, roads, bridges.
But while we’re in the infrastructure inventory mood, why not look at some upgrades? God knows, whenever my computer takes a dive and I’m forced to replace it, I always look to moving my specs up a notch or two, don’t you?
Current infrastructure upgrades include:
* the high-speed rail initiative catching up to technology already in wide use in other countries,
* smart grid technology creating two-way digital communication in the way we distribute energy and,
* replacing our automotive fleets and buildings with cleaner and greener options that make a real contribution toward our nation’s sustainability portfolio.
But another infrastructure upgrade, possibly the most obvious, is simply making our homes and offices more energy efficient. And this is a project that will stimulate the economy and create 2,000,000 jobs over 10-15 years. Like health care reform, infrastructure repair, energy efficiency upgrades are a trillion dollar project.
Yesterday, in Missouri, 150 concerned citizens lobbied state legislators with the common sense idea behind improving our homes to higher levels of efficiency. Politically practical approaches were laid out featuring game-changing economic initiatives to make all this improvement work and job-creation possible.
Renew Missouri and Missouri Coalition for the Environment brought together small business owners, activists, green energy experts and other stakeholders to sound these sensible arguments and deliver important information about the latest developments in energy efficiency:
Missourians Tell Legislators: Energy Efficiency Now!
New “Game-Changing” policies will save home owners money on utility bills and create thousands of in-state jobs…
Jefferson City, MO – Citizens from across Missouri convened at the State Capitol on Wednesday to urge legislators to update the state’s outdated energy efficiency policies. Participants carried signs calling for Energy Efficiency Now! while listening to state energy efficiency policy experts and Missouri home energy auditors speak of the benefits of efficiency and of legislative solutions for efficiency improvement.
PJ Wilson of Renew Missouri explained that Missouri currently ranks 41st in the country for energy efficiency, which costs Missourians millions of dollars on their electric bills each year. Missouri also has one of the nation’s fastest rising energy rates, only made worse in the struggling economy. “Energy efficiency addresses high electric bills and creates in-state jobs,” says Wilson.
PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) is one of four proposed solutions. PACE is proving to be successful in 14 states and is often consider a “game-changer” for energy efficiency and renewable energy. PACE is state-enabling legislation that allows cities to pursue bonds to pay for a revolving loan program that lends money to both commercial and residential property owners for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. It alleviates the upfront cost of efficiency and renewable upgrades by allowing home or business owners to pay for over time through an additional charge on property tax.
PACE’s revenue neutral characteristics make it an easy win for legislators and municipalities; it is already receiving bipartisan support in Jefferson City. “PACE provides a longer-term financing scheme for energy efficiency upgrades, so home-owners will make improvements with very low up-front costs. By spreading out the payments over the course of 15-20 years, the energy savings gained each month on electric bills often make the upgrades net positive from day one,” says Marc Bluestone, of Missouri Association of Accredited Energy Professionals (MAAEP).
Beyond lower electric bills, pursuing energy efficiency also increases a home’s overall value. “Homes with efficiency sell faster, spend fewer days on the market, and sell for a higher percentage of the listing price. People are starting to figure out that efficiency pays while you live in a home — and when it’s time to sell a home,” said Bluestone.
Damien Flaherty, of EnergyAudits.com and MAAEP, described the overlap of economic and security benefits of efficiency. “Currently, Missouri imports 95% of its energy resources — coal, natural gas, oil — we can’t change that geological reality. But what we can improve are the 2 million homes already built in Missouri. We can make these buildings more efficient and therefore use less imported fuels. And updating our housing stock will undoubtedly create tens of thousands of in-state jobs that can’t be outsourced or sent overseas.”
After, the citizens met with legislators throughout the day encouraging action on efficiency. The Energy Efficiency Now! rally on the Capitol steps was a part of Conservation Lobby Day, an annual event sponsored by the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Missouri Votes Conservation, and the Missouri Sierra Club.
Renew Missouri recommends a suite of four “best practice” priorities, and more information can be found at http://www.RenewMo.org. Renew Missouri is a project of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, has successfully transformed renewable energy policy in Missouri with its work on the Easy Connection Act in 2007 and on Proposition C, a renewable electricity standard, in 2008.
The news of energy efficiency is spreading, and as I’ve said before, I predict that not only will every building in our country be audited and analyzed to diagnose what improvements can be made, but eventually, the idea of an energy efficiency audit and retrofit will be as commonplace as the safety and emissions test for your car — you heard it here first!
On Christmas, I wrote an article called “Health-care bill will stimulate economy and create tens of thousands of jobs“.
Within hours it had gone semi-viral with over 3000 hits on the web. Progressive Democrats of America posted it on their home page and I cross-posted at Show Me Progress and Polizeros.
In it, I posed the question, “How is it that throughout the entire health care debate the issue of job creation and economic stimulus has not been brought up?” And offered the plausible conclusion that adding 30 million people into the health care system will translate into an abundance of economic activity and opportunity for millions of Americans: i.e. JOBS.
Suggesting this outcome summoned a hail storm of criticism from opponents of health-care reform, asking rhetorically what kind of “dope” us Democrats/Obama were smoking and how what I had authored must have been satire or else it was pure “hogwash”. Evidently, I touched a nerve by countering head-on a primary talking point of health-care bill adversaries, namely, that it’s a “job killer”. It was as if I’d dipped a few of those tea-bagger’s sweet tea-bags in tart mustard — “Grey Poupon”, of course.
My favorite response I received went beyond shutting down health-care reform and advocated dismantling most of the entire social services system:
“The US Postal Service was established in 1775. You’ve had 234 years to get it solvent, it is broke. Social Security was established in 1935. You’ve had 74 yrs. to get it solvent, it’s broke. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You’ve had 71 yrs. to get it right, it’s broke. The War on Poverty was started in 1964. Taking trillions through taxes and transferring it to the poor; has not improved their lot. Medicare and Medicaid were started in ’65. You’ve had 44 yrs. to get it solvent. Future baby boomer promised funds are at a deficit $106 trillion. Freddie Mac was born in ’70. You’ve had 39 yrs. to get it right. It is broke. TARP, the Stimulus, not helping the grassroots. Help France, not us!!”
What is bringing on this extreme reaction to an initiative seeking better care for folks? We spend ten times as much on defense, why so much resistance on guaranteeing care for poor and rich alike?
We have public education, public libraries — where’s the difficulty in metabolizing a mixed system of public and private health care, like our schools or the way we mail stuff to one another? (private and public options in a mixed-market economy, what every Western democracy embodies including the US)
First, a couple of straw-mans for the naysayers to digest illustrating a clear case of why we need to change the status-quo now — and why that incremental change alone will stimulate economic health and lead to job creation. More mustard.
(You can answer yes or no.)
Q: Do you think health care should be a for-profit enterprise with folks being denied care because they’re poor?
Q: Do you think it’s tolerable that 70% of personal bankruptcies in the US are due to a lack of health-care insurance coverage?
Q: Do you think it’s okay for people to never consider changing jobs — thereby disrupting market forces — because they fear losing their health-care by switching employment?
Q: Do you think folks should live in fear — negatively impacting work productivity — because they’re forced to wade through so much red tape dodging efforts to dump their insurance or deny claims because it makes more profits for health insurance corporations to not provide care?
Those dilemmas listed above are common occurrences in US health care — perpetuation of the status quo will:
1. cost lives needlessly
2. damage productivity in the workplace
3. disrupt and distort market forces in regard to job mobility
4. damage US companies’ ability to compete in the global market
5. continue to cause an epidemic of health-care related bankruptcies
These flaws of our current health care crisis are JOB KILLERS right now, today. So, tea-baggers, unless you can address these issues, put your job-killing talking points away, we are already there.
The health care reform efforts will positively affect each of the above five bullet points, which, in turn, would help strengthen our economy and invigorate all of our livelihoods.
A lift from my health care paper from two years ago,
“Our country is the only industrialized nation without coverage for all her citizens and we spend twice as much per capita than any other nation for our health care – 17% of our GNP. That’s 90% more than Germany, France or Canada. And don’t think that America is paying a premium for quality because the World Health Organization ranks us at 37th, sandwiched between Slovenia and Costa Rica. An overemphasis on corporate profits has swept away the most basic human needs of the American people.
Our health-care is too expensive and it’s broken. Why is it that Health Care in America costs so much?
In our current privatized system, over 30% of the cost pays for expensive Washington lobbyists, exorbitant salaries of CEOs, extravagant corporate jets and flashy advertising campaigns. Money skimmed right off the top before any care is ever provided.”
Simple fact is, the US health care system is broken because of an overemphasis on the profit-side of the business of taking care of folks; a uniquely American affliction as evidenced by the less ‘profit-frothy’ examples of universal health care coverage in the rest of the Western industrialized democracies, with coverage for all and producing significantly better medical outcomes for the average patient. Turbo-capitalism is at odds with the humane-healing part of health care, and in the worst instances, negates the healing mandate of general medicine. In legalese, we have a classic conflict of interest.
Approximately 45,000 people die every year due to preventable causes; they die because of lack of access to a doctor, hospital and medicine. This is inhumane, unjust and unacceptable.
Why? What’s driving the trend of rising premiums, co-pays and deductibles? Costs going up three times faster than wages? People unable to see a doctor? What are the root causes?
Mike Hall cites, “Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007, while consumers paid more for less coverage.” Ca-ching.
Can you imagine an initiative that could actually stop all violent murders in a year? Or stop all deaths due to drunk driving? Miraculous, right? Well, getting everyone access to care could save as many lives as these fantasy scenarios. It is real and currently before our nation for consideration — it needs your support.
Many health care opponents are so xenophobic, unable to accept the possibility that another nation besides the US may have a better handle on solutions toward delivering more effective care for their citizens. We should all listen more and let go of an unholy attachment to broken economic theories that do not reconcile with the art of healing and providing care in an equitable manner. Or is it the rich survive and the poor die? Law of the jungle dot com? Too much of any one thing is bad — we need a balance between ’empathy / compassion’ alongside ‘competition and individual comparative advantage’. Finding tha
t balance is where wisdom comes into play. If a project one tenth of the cost of the Pentagon can save 45,000 lives a year, well, that’s no-brainer to me. Imagine one of those 45,000 being your father, your mother, your sister. Sure, you’d want coverage then wouldn’t you?
I wish we’d all do a little more research, open our minds and resist the temptation to stop parroting Limbaugh-Beck-isms for a moment. Yes, they’re entertaining and stoke so successfully the knee-jerk defensive reaction to protect all the nuts we’ve buried in our backyards. But that’s a button they push like selling beer with attractive blonds. Just because it feels right, doesn’t make it right.
My article on job stimulus through health care reform was simple. We will see more economic activity to provide preventive care for the 30 million or so that will be added to the health-care insurance roster. More economic activity means more work hours, transactions and the provision of additional services. It means jobs — it means stimulus.
We have over 10% unemployment and need job creation to put folks back to work. It’s a positive side to the health care reform package that hasn’t been emphasized to date and I think it should be. BTW, I like French’s, the Grey Poupon is way too horseradishy.
Here’s a great new project with good ideas to help popularize energy efficiency in Missouri!
President Obama said today,”The simple act of retrofitting these buildings to make them more energy efficient – installing new windows and doors, insulation, roofing, sealing leaks, modernizing heating and cooling equipment – is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest things we can do to put Americans back to work while saving families money and reducing harmful emissions.”
Economic stimulus promoted through energy efficiency organization
St. Louis, MO – December 15, 2009 – The Missouri Association of Accredited Energy Professionals (MAAEP), a newly formed trade group, held its inaugural organizational meeting for membership and affiliates last Thursday.
Local energy professionals representing private enterprise, non-profits and government participated including Mo. Dept. of Natural Resources, Botanical Garden’s Earthways Center, Mosby Building Arts and other industry leaders.
“The business of making Missouri more energy efficient and saving folks on energy costs is set to grow tremendously in the near future as game-changing Federal and State initiatives come online,” explained Marc Bluestone of Home Green Home, a local energy efficiency contractor and consultant. “Pilots such as the Property Assessed Clean Energy program (PACE) and economic stimulus efforts will soon make energy audits and retrofits on homes as commonplace as the safety and emissions test for your car.”
In October, the Department of Energy announced $2.7 billion under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for energy efficiency efforts nationwide, with tens of millions earmarked locally in programs such as the Mo. Department of Natural Resources’ “Energize Missouri Communities” which include block grants to fund efficiency and weatherization projects in public buildings, private business and residential structures.
“The Missouri Association of Accredited Energy Professionals (MAAEP) is advancing a program to distinguish high-efficiency, high-performance homes for home buyers and their Realtors,” said attorney Tom Appelbaum. “Studies show these homes retain their value and sell faster than the non-efficient, non-retrofitted homes, and with programs like PACE the cost of these green upgrades can be amortized over the life of a home, making the cost-benefit savings positive from day one.”
MAAEP is working with green consultant James Trout and MyGreenToolkit.com to raise awareness of energy efficiency benefits to REALTORS and their customers, “With MAAEP and MyGreenToolkit.com we empower Realtors and home owners with information and statistics clearly showing the value in improving their homes and making them more energy efficient.”
At Thursday’s meeting, Damien Flaherty of EnergyAudits.com emphasized the role that MAAEP fills in helping industry professionals contend with the quickly changing landscape of energy efficiency. Flaherty maintains a national database of certified Energy Auditors, Energy Raters and Home Performance Contractors and has conducted several surveys to identify issues particular to the efficiency business, “Our professionals are setting standards for best practices and MAAEP will politically advocate on behalf of this emerging industry to promote home value, economic recovery and consumer interests.”
MAAEP board member Harvey Ferdman spoke about a convergence of issues making clean energy and energy conservation an idea whose time has come. “Buildings account for nearly 40% of our nation’s carbon emissions, but their energy efficiency can be improved by 30% or more. These savings will have a very real impact on reducing our carbon footprint and lessening pollution. Every single home improved puts our community on a more sustainable tract.”
“Every building constructed by the end of 2009, conservatively, will make up 85% of all buildings in 2030; consequently, remediating existing homes and offices is where most of the efficiency benefits will be gained,” explained board member Byron DeLear. “Because construction styles vary so greatly, the energy efficiency analysis, consultation and upgrade must be uniquely tailored for each property. This process is directed and carried out by accredited energy auditors and home performance contractors; a new “green job” workforce that can’t be outsourced.”
In addition to St. Louis, MAAEP will be conducting a series of organizational meetings throughout the State of Missouri in early 2010 in Kansas City, Columbia and Springfield. The Missouri Association of Accredited Energy Professionals is a public benefit non-profit corporation registered with the State of Missouri on July 6th, 2009.
Thursday’s MAAEP meeting was sponsored by Fiberlite Technologies, Inc., an insulation manufacturer, Matt Pidgeon of Soar Advertising & Design, Home Green Home and special thanks to Mattingly Brewery for use of their conference room.
Some comments cross-posted:
Green change! says:
Let’s all board the train to Green change! Republicans need to get a clue and stop being science deniers — we need to get off of our addiction to fossil fuels before it kills us, its already killing off thousands of species around the world. Humanity has a moral responsibility to end this genocide taking place as we surf
bout time says:
how long will it take for US politcal leaders to finally embrace the fact that Green energy solutions are the way to define the US economy for the 21st century? Instead of nuclear, oil and coal? we are in Iraq and the Middel East because of oil, think how much that really makes a gallon of gas, $20?
Senator Claire McCaskill (D) via Twitter:
Now have decent guide for Recovery(stimulus) on web page. Includes map you can see where $ in Mo going……about 17 hours ago from web
When you click on one of the little bulls eyes you get information on the expenditure for that particular location. For instance, in Cass County, Missouri:
201 W Wall St
Harrisonville, MO 64701
Clicking on “View Release” gets you the press release explaining that particular program:
March 6, 2009
MCCASKILL GRANT ANNOUNCEMENT: $40.3 Million in Recovery Act Grant Funding Coming to Missouri
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill announced today that the United States Department Justice (DOJ) is providing Missouri communities with approximately $40.3 million in federal grant money funded by the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The money is being provided through DOJ’s Edward Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program, which supports local law enforcement efforts through federal funding for the hiring and support for police officers, multijurisdictional drug and gang task forces, crime prevention and domestic violence programs, and courts, corrections, treatment, and justice information sharing initiatives.
According to the DOJ, over 100 cities and counties across the state will receive funding as a result of the Economic Recovery Act through the Byrne grant program. Further, the State of Missouri will receive an additional $25 million dollars, separate from the funds given to cities and counties, under the plan. A complete breakdown of local governments in Missouri receiving money can be viewed here http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/r…
Funding to states and localities through the Economic Recovery Act will be allocated through existing federal programs like these, rather than earmarks, in order to ensure prompt distribution and better accountability. Local projects receive funds from these grants by following the process set up by each program. During Congressional consideration of the Economic Recovery bill, McCaskill worked to put additional accountability measures in place.
McCaskill believes that federal grants and loans are a positive alternative to earmarks, which in the past have been authorized during a secretive process with little accountability. Competitive merit and need based federal grants and low-interest government loans bring federal assistance to Missouri in an honest and fiscally responsible manner.
You can easily explore where the money is going.
By Melinda Deslatte
Associated Press Writer
Posted: 02/19/2009 06:37:07 AM MST
BATON ROUGE, La. » A handful of Republican governors are considering turning down some money from the federal stimulus package, a move opponents say puts conservative ideology ahead of the needs of constituents struggling with record foreclosures and soaring unemployment….
Yep, if Jay Nixon (D) wasn’t governor at this point we’d be in a world of hurt because, you know, like many other right wingnuts Missouri House Speaker Ron Richard (r) has a problem with the stimulus:
Missouri GOP not sold on stimulus
Republican leaders decry much-debated package at annual Lincoln Day.
Chad Livengood • News-Leader • February 8, 2009
…House Speaker Ron Richard, R-Joplin, suggested Missouri reject any federal bailout money and “just send it on back” to Washington.
“We could do that,” Richard told about 225 Republicans at the annual event at the University Plaza Hotel…
But you won’t, will you? Because we’re lucky enough to have a Democrat in the governor’s mansion who isn’t an idiot, much unlike that hypocritical republican queen of federal largess and earmarks in Alaska or those right wingnut republican base pandering fools in Idaho, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Texas.
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2009
White House Releases State by State Numbers; American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Save or Create 3.5 Million Jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House today released state-specific details on the local impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is a nationwide effort to create jobs, jumpstart growth and transform our economy to compete in the 21st century. The compromise package of $789 billion will create or save 3.5 million jobs over the next two years. Jobs created will be in a range of industries from clean energy to health care, with over 90% in the private sector…
And here’s what that means for Missouri:
…The table [pdf] below outlines the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act compromise package on employment by state. The estimates are derived from an analysis of the overall employment impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conducted by Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Jared Bernstein, Chief Economist for the Vice President, and detailed estimates of the working age population, employment, and industrial composition of each state…
And here’s what this means for Missouri by congressional district:
…The table [pdf] below outlines outlines the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act compromise package on employment by congressional district….
Congressional District 1 Missouri 7,000
Congressional District 2 Missouri 8,100
Congressional District 3 Missouri 7,800
Congressional District 4 Missouri 7,600
Congressional District 5 Missouri 7,300
Congressional District 6 Missouri 7,900
Congressional District 7 Missouri 8,000
Congressional District 8 Missouri 7,300
Congressional District 9 Missouri 7,900…
And those republican members of Congress (Representatives Akin, Blunt, Emerson, Graves, Luetkemeyer and also including Senator Kit Bond) who voted against the economic stimulus? The don’t appear to favor employment for their constituents. The do appear to favor insane republican dogma over creating and/or saving jobs.
And with these numbers the White House has provided us all a benchmark to check the progress of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Wednesday afternoon I took part in a media and blogger conference call with Jared Bernstein, the chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden. The subject for the briefing and questions which followed was the “impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan”.
Our previous coverage of Jared Bernstein’s opening remarks:
And our previous coverage of the opening set of media questions on the call:
The final eighteen minutes of the conference call:
Jill Miller Zimon themoderatevoice.com: Thank you for taking my call. Um, I am in Ohio and I had a question regarding what remains in the package for home buyers. Um, I don’t know, I’m guessing, uh, you may be familiar with Congresswomen Kaptur’s, um, suggestion about individuals staying in their homes when they’re facing foreclosure and demanding that the mortgages be produced. Are you familiar with that?
Jared Bernstein: Uh, you know what I’m famil…, I’m, I’m not, I’m not sure and I’m sort of actually paging through some stuff [crosstalk] on the conference while we speak.
Jill Miller Zimon: It’s been making its rounds, she…[crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: I mean the thing I’m familier with is the, uh, that was in the Senate version of the bill was a new home buyer’s tax credit. And I don’t know, uh, and I sh…, I sh…, I want to check whether that. I’ll, I’ll check and see if that, if that’s still, still made it, how that ended up in conference. Uh, [crosstalk] but oh, actually that’s gone I see. Uh, oh, oh wait, is that right? …Um. Actually, I’m not sure about that. [crosstalk] I take that back on the housing part. I have, I have to learn more about it. This, this thing was signed just a few minutes ago…
…Jill Miller Zimon: So my general question is, really kind of two parts, one is: What can you tell us that you believe has stayed in that works for the individual such as the home buyer situation? I know you’ve mentioned a little bit about tax cuts. And then the, the second is, although I guess you don’t have as much familiarity as I would have um, likes about Congresswoman Kaptur’s suggestion, basically her suggestion was advising individuals who aren’t paying their mortgage to still stay in the home until the mortgage is produced. Um, it basically, you know, using the law for, for their benefit until, uh, the, their situation is resolved. I’m just curious… [crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: Until the mortgage is reduced you said?
Jill Miller Zimon: No, until the mortgage is produced, that the physical mortgage itself. Her point being that these mortgages get swapped around and purchased out[crosstalk]…
Jared Bernstein: I see. [cross talk] Uh huh. Yeah.
Jill Miller Zimon:…so much that they can’t even be accountable for it. You know, she is from northwestern Ohio and, um, Ohio is most likely gonna be one of the exceptions, even with the package, that we’ll end up going into double digit unemployment. So, uh, as much as we’re looking forward to whatever relief we’ll get from the package, um, it, the, this, the foreclosure rates here are, um, some of the worst in the country in addition to Florida. [crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: So what’s your question?
Jill Miller Zimon: So my question was, uh, number one was: What was, what would still be in the package, uh, regarding home buyers? And I think you’ve answered that by saying you’re not sure.
Jared Bernstein: I’m not sure about about [crosstalk]…
Jill Miller Zimon: Right.
Jared Bernstein:…the, uh, uh, uh, the one I mentioned.
Jill Miller Zimon: And the second question, related to that would be, your opinion of the Congresswoman’s advice that individuals who are in foreclosure dem…, basically become squatters and demand that the mortgage holders produce the document. Her, her point being they swapped hand so many times that’s not gonna be able to happen.
Jared Bernstein: Yeah, no, I’m definitely not in a position to give an opinion on that, but, uh, I will, while we’re talking here, and don’t stay off.
Jill Miller Zimon:Okay. [crosstalk] I appreciate that.
Jared Bernstein: I will look for something. [crosstalk]
Jill Miller Zimon: I know it’s difficult and specific question, but for places like Ohio…[crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: well, it’s a good question. [crosstalk]
Jill Miller Zimon: …which are big. [crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: It’s a good question. And I have some, I’m getting information on this as we, as we go along, so let me, let me… [corsstalk]
Jill Miller Zimon: Thank you. [cross talk]
Jared Bernstein:… get back. You’re welcome…
…Casey Gane-McCalla newsone.blackplanet.com: Yeah. Thanks a lot for doing this, you know, for all us bloggers. Uh, we appreciate it. Um, Obama briefly spoke about, uh, the school system and more money going to schools, um. The urban education system has needed a bailout, you know, for twenty plus years in cities like Detroit, uh, drop out rate of eighty per cent, New York is fifty per cent, uh, Baltimore, seventy five. What measures in the stimulus package will not only, uh, prevent these schools from further failing, but actually maybe help them, because I know at least in New York state they’re talking about cutting, New York City, excuse me, they’re talking about cutting twenty three thousand jobs? And in the already struggling school systems. So what measures from the stimulus package will go to help out the urban educational system?
Jared Bernstein: Um, hm. Uh, there are a number of measures. Uh, I would say that, uh, help in that regard. Um, and again, I have to warn you that, uh, I’m doing my best to keep up with, uh, the new numbers that are coming in from the conference, but, uh, let me go through a few components of the bill that I, uh, I know, uh, would speak to the question you raised. Um, I’m just lining, um, there is, uh, there, there’s, uh, funding in this package for, uh, education and training, um, uh. And the education component of that is, uh, uh, well together it’s over a hundred billion dollars. There’s funding here for early childhood education, uh, Head Start, uh, for, um, uh, uh, school, school improvement, Title I, um, the uh, uh, significant funding for, uh, for Pell Grants, uh, there’s, uh, training dollars I think which are actually critically important for some of the populations who are under served in this regard. Um, training, there, there’s uh, uh, youth training, there’s employment service training, there’s, uh, a, uh, training for dislocated workers who lose their jobs. Um, the, uh, I think some of the key, uh, factors that will help to, um, uh, uh, promote, uh, the, uh, the, uh, that will help to, and will offset some of the pieces you’re talking about are, um, are Title I grants, school improvement grants, some of the IDEA grants, uh, some of the, uh, uh, uh, small grants for, uh, education for homeless folks. Um, I don’t know the magnitudes of those in the final deal, but I, I, I know that they were all under negotiation and, and I’m, uh, confident that some of those remain in the package.
Casey Gane-McCalla: Okay, thank you very much.
Jared Bernstein: Sure…
…John Morgan Pennsylvania Progressive: Thank you again [garbled] for, uh, involving the bloggers, uh, with policy and news and information. Uh, here in Pennsylvania, uh, I also serve as a board member for Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania Advocates. And, one of the first things that was cut from the stimulus bill was, uh, family planning funding. Uh, we actually laid off our public affairs policy person, uh, due to declining revenue. So, this funding will act
ually save and create jobs. Uh, is there any intention of, of restoring this funding in a future bill, [garbled] omnibus preparations act?
Jared Bernstein: Uh, the, the, I’m sorry, could you b…, I didn’t hear everything you were saying, you, you wanted, just repeat your question again. Just the last part. [crosstalk]
John Morgan: Okay. All right. Um, the, uh, funding, the initial bill provided funding for family planning contraceptives.
Jared Bernstein: Um, hm.
John Morgan: It was one of the first things stripped in the…[crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: Okay. Um, hm.
John Morgan: Uh, uh, is the administration gonna, uh, put that in an additional, uh, bill, maybe the omnibus appropriations bill?
Jared Bernstein: Yeah, I can’t [crosstalk], I, I, I’m sorry, I can’t speak, as I said earlier, to plans, to administration plans to, uh, get back to pa…, pieces of the package that were taken out specifically. Um, I can, once again, reiterate this point. Um, there were folks who made the argument that, uh, you know, that you shouldn’t fund family planning or whatever. That, that, uh, that, that’s kind of a political judgment that I’m, uh, I’m not gonna speak to. Um, I think the economics of this, of some folks objections were, “look that’s not really part of a job creating stimulus plan” and they, they, they had, they had a point. And so we, we listened and made, and made changes to certain aspects of the plan in that regard. Um, what we will absolutely come back to ideas that came out of here that we still think are good ideas. I’m not gonna, uh, uh, get ahead of, uh, a lot of other people here in terms of what, of what those ideas are. But, the fact that something didn’t get into this package by no means means that, uh, this, this shouldn’t be interpreted as, as meaning we are, uh, not going to come back to, um, uh, proposals that we think are worthy.
John Morgan: [garbled] That’s encouraging to hear. That you know [garbled] that’s worthy. [garbled] [crosstalk][garbled]
Jared Bernstein: I want to be very clear. [crosstalk] I want to be very, [crosstalk] I want to be very clear because I, I don’t want to be misquoted. I, I, I’m not specifying any particular element like the one you raised as being, uh, uh, you know, a worthy element, uh, uh, in, in terms of something we want to get back to. What I’m saying is that some the things came out of this plan because people had a decent argument that they weren’t, uh, reasonably placed in an economic recovery package. Uh, I am not in a position to a…, to say, you know, this idea was good, this idea was bad.
John Morgan: I, I understand. [crosstalk] Thank you.
Jared Bernstein: You understand. Thank you…
…Jonathan Singer mydd.com: Hi, um, there, there’s been a lot of debate in the last week, as I’m sure there has been even in the last decade, about the, um, there’s a lesson to be learned from Japan, um, there’s an article in, in the New York Times week in review, uh, that, that’s kind of ar…, you know, arguing whether construction, the things of that nature, were stimulative, if they were the right type of construction [garbled]. I was wondering what, in general, what the lessons were to be taken from, you know, the last ten, fifteen years in Japan and how not to get into this [garbled] growth for a couple decades?
Jared Bernstein: Sure. Um, the problem Japan, the problem, the mistake that Japan’s economic policy makers made is actually one, uh, that’s really very relevant today. I’m glad you raised the question. And, and that was the mistake of of forbearance. That is, that as these problems, uh, deepened in their economy, uh, problems of a recession generated, by the way, in ways that weren’t all that different from our own. They, they had a combination of bursting housing bubble and stock market bubble, big real estate bubble. But also, a stock market bubble, at around kind of the same time. And, uh, they, they made, uh, uh, first, kind of an error, which was not unlike the one we, we almost made in the great depression, uh, where, um, uh, uh, Hoover et al, uh, uh, kicked back and said, um, let’s let the market handle this. Uh, the idea was that, uh, um, there, there’s never a role for the public sector in a, in a, uh, free market economy. And so the worst thing you can do is, uh, intervene even when things are down on the mat. And that helped Japan, uh, uh, essentially go into a, uh, down turn that lasted by some measures almost a decade. Certainly, uh, uh, now one could look back at our own, uh, period of the 1930’s and, and recognize that Roosevelt, somewhat under the tutelage of the great economist Keynes himself, uh, rejected that philosophy and invested massively, uh, in, in economic activity. Uh, and, and we’re tr…, obviously we’re following that model. Um, following that model in terms of, uh, of the recovery package, we’re following that model in terms of the financial sector as well. And, and so I would argue we, we are, we are, um, acting, uh, very deliberately not to make the forbearance kinds of, uh, mistakes in judgment that Japan evidenced, uh, in their lost decade…
…John Aravosis americablog.com: …Hey guys, thanks for doing this. Um, I wanted to ask you a question about the income thresholds we’re using in the stimulus package and in, in other legislation. I’ve written about this a few times on my blog but. For example, the five hundred per person tax cut, whatever you want to call it. Um, the first time home buyer tax credit, which wasn’t you guys I know it was the House, but still, you know, making a real tax credit. In those legis…, [garbled] legislation we always set an income limit beyond which it, uh, starts to phase out and finally goes away, right. [crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: Um, hm.
John Aravosis: If you make a hundred fifty, or whatever, thousand a year you don’t get it.
Jared Bernstein: Right.
John Aravosis: What, you may or may not have seen, there was a recent New York Daily News article, like in the last week, with a study showing that a hundred and twenty four thousand dollar a year salary in New York City is equivalent to a fifty thousand dollar a year salary in Houston because of the relative cost of living.
Jared Bernstein: Uh, huh.
John Aravosis: I know that we, this is the way we do tax policy anyway [Jared Bernstein: laughter] You know, we’ve said this is how much you make, this is how much you pay.
Jared Bernstein: Um, hm.
John Aravosis: But at some point is there something we can do? Or how do you guys even respond to that concern about basically if you cut people off at a hundred or a hundred fifty or whatever it is, if you live in New York or D.C. or perhaps San Francisco, you’re not rich.
Jared Bernstein: [crosstalk] Yeah, t’s a great, it’s a great, it’s a great point.
John Aravosis: [crosstalk] [garbled] …it’s your five per cent line that Obama always uses, he’s correct, but are you really in the upper five per cent if you live in an expensive city?
Jared Bernstein: Yeah, no, I think that, uh, I mean, not only are you not really in the top five per cent, you’re not literally in the top five per cent. In other words, if you took the, the top five per cent in New York City obviously you’re looking at a much different cut off if you took the top five per cent in, uh, a different part of the country.
John Aravosis: Well that’s true, too. [crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: So, um, I, I, I think your point is, it’s interesting, it’s a point that I myself have, um, uh, spent a good deal of time on when I used to do research out there in the, uh, in the think tank world. Before I came here I worked at the Economic Policy Institute for years and one of the things we developed there were, um, family budgets for uh, families of different sizes and different number of kids and different kinds of profiles throughout ov… close to five hundred metropolitan areas. And we observed grea
t variation in prices. Um, one of the problems here, uh, uh, what’s your na..? What’s your name again?
John Aravosis: It’s John.
Jared Bernstein: John. One of the problems here John, and it’s not widely known, is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which does fantastic work, I, I’m a huge devotee of their, of their work, I’m not criticizing them, they would do whatever we asked them to. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not publish, uh, intra area price deflators, that is, it does not publish any price index that will allow you to tell, tell you what a dollar in, in New York is worth in Houston.
John Aravosis: But we do it for what, could we apply the system we use for the FAA, for example where if you work in Alaska and Hawaii you actually get twenty four to twenty five per cent increase in your salary?
Jared Bernstein: Yeah. Well there are systems out there [crosstalk] and, and but there’s no rigor…, there’s no, uh, [garbled] price index that would allow you to do that. Now, there is some work by this woman, who’s name is Bettina Aten, that’s a-t-e-n, who works for the government in various statistical agencies. You can find her stuff on the web. Who actually has been, um, um, generating precisely this kind of information. And at some point I could see, uh, where that might be, uh, um, useful to apply to government, uh, uh, programs. Whether it’s poverty lines, right? [cross talk] I mean, isn’t that the same thing? You know po…[crosstalk]
John Aravosis: It’s exactly the same thing, yeah.
Jared Bernstein: Poverty measurement, uh, is the same, uh, you know, the poverty threshold is the same in, in, in the deep South as it is in, in northern urban areas. And so, uh, there are lots of placs where you could apply that kind of a technology if you had it. Now, you know, again, I want to be very clear, [crosstalk] I’m not a think tanker anymore. I’m not saying [crosstalk] the U.S. government is about to do any of this. But I’m saying you raise a good point. Okay?
John Aravosis: Thank you. That’s fine…
Jared Bernstein: Well thank you very much everyone, it’s been great talking to you…
Yesterday afternoon I took part in a media and blogger conference call with Jared Bernstein, the chief economist for Vice President Joe Biden. The subject for the briefing and questions which followed was the “impacts of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan”.
Our previous coverage of Jared Bernstein’s opening remarks:
The questions from new media in on the call:
Adam Siegel – getenergysmartnow.com: Uh, thank you very much for doing this call. Much appreciated. Uh, looking to [garbled] and focus on energy, global warming, as well as economic issues and the intersection of all of them, uh, when we’re looking at the limited news so far we see that the, uh, deal continues the slashing of a lot of the things that might be considered long term infrastructure such as aid for school construction [garbled] even while looking to try to get this bill passed are you already starting to lay the ground work for trying to recapture many of the good things from the House bill that don’t seem to have made it through the conference committee?
Jared Bernstein: Well, and I, I have to be mindful of the fact that I am, uh, uh, one of the team, uh, some of these folks are on their way back from the, the capitol now. Uh, so let me speak broadly in answer to your question. I can’t tell you we plan to go back to the well tomorrow to, uh, get back some of the things that were our original preferences. But, I, I can tell you that they, they were our original preferences and I can tell you that, you know, my understanding of some of the negotiations were that, that some of the opponents of pieces that were in this legislation were not saying we’re against, uh, school construction, we’re against, uh, uh, fiscal relief to states. uh, we’re, we’re, against, uh, expanding some of the health care. They were saying we’re against putting them in a, uh, stimulus or a recovery package, uh, that is intended to spend out quickly and, uh, um, well, fulfill the kinds of stimulative economic goals I talked about earlier. So, um, uh, my view, uh, is that, uh, no windows are closed when it comes to, uh, these good ideas…
…Matt Copper – Talking Points Memo: Uh yes, hi. Uh, I, I know you’re here primarily to talk about the recovery act but I’m just curious, uh, your sense of, of whether we are really gonna start to see a turnaround in the economy ’til we have a bailout, a bank bailout plan more firmly in place. In other words, how much can this, uh, this one piece of legislation do until we get some of these other components in?
Jared Bernstein: Uh, by the way, I used to write for Talking Points Memo.
Matt Copper: I, I know…[crosstalk]
Jared Bernstein: TPM cafe. Um, I think it’s a good question. And I’m happy to talk about it. I think it’s actually very much on point. Uh, I view the stimulus package and the financial stabilization package as, as extremely complimentary. Um, on its own the stimulus package will absolutely help in the ways I said and, and, and frankly, it’s not rocket science. I mean if you let a contract to fix a bridge, especially in a climate where those jobs aren’t being created otherwise, you’re gonna create some jobs. Uh, the, uh, but for the, for, for the, uh, package to have its full impact, including what economists call the multiplier effects, such that you, you begin to generate some economic activity over here and you get more economic activity over there, i.e. you build that bridge and one of the, uh, uh, uh, formerly un…, unemployed people who’s now working on that bridge construction takes his, uh, or her pay check and goes to, uh, a retailer, a food store, whatever, uh, makes some new purchases that, remember, wouldn’t have occurred otherwise, that starts a chain of economic activity that, uh, uh, uh, helps to, um, get the economy back on track. That chain won’t be able to, uh, uh, function to full effect, uh, if, uh, credit lines remain frozen. So, the way I think that to, to wax, uh, medical on you for a second, is that, uh, the stimulus, uh, plan, the recovery act gets the heart beating again. The stabilization act, uh, uh, cleans out the, uh, the a, uh, carotid veins of the, uh, economy, uh, which has, uh, kind of been gouging on some, uh, pretty bad debt. Um, with the heart beating and the blood flowing, uh, the patient’s, uh, uh, uh, uh, back on track…
…Baratunde Thurston – jackandjillpolitics.com: Uh, good afternoon Mr. Bernstein, thanks so much for, uh, doing this call and, uh, everybody else for being here. I haven’t, you know transparency was marked, as a, as a big hallmark of how this act might be different from those that have come years, decades or even generations before. What can you say would be the, what are the metrics of success, uh, for, if this is actually working? You sort of mentioned two years down the line.
Jared Bernstein: Uh, huh. [crosstalk]
Baratunde Thurston: Jesse in his opening remarks said you will be judged by this. What are those judgments gonna be based on? What are your, what are the quantitative or qualitative goals you have?
Jared Bernstein: Sure, Um, first of all in terms of tran…well, uh, uh, part of the success, at least on the transparency front, will be the extent to which we track the progress of this legislation on, in, in, uh, on the, uh, the web site, uh, that we’ve, uh, announced we’re gonna form. I believe it’s recoveryact dot gov, although, uh, I doubt it’s…
Unidentified voice: It’s recovery dot gov.
Jared Bernstein: Recovery dot gov. So, so, you know, that’s obviously, uh, a level of transparency, uh, we haven’t seen, uh, in a really, uh, I don’t know, uh, uh, I can’t think of any other examples in the past. So, so, you know, I think we should be graded on the extent to which we do what we said we were gonna do in that regard. Um, uh, and I’m confident we will. Uh, this is a, this is something that comes from the very top. This is the President recognizing, uh, the need for, uh, that kind of accountability.
Uh, but the, the kind of quantitative metrics you suggested I also think are important. Um, the unemployment rate, uh, is expected in the absence of, uh, this, uh, uh, package to get up into something close to double digits, uh, um, by, uh, um, the, uh, probably, uh, late, uh, uh, later, uh, sometime a, I, I would guess, uh, around, um, late this year, uh, next year in the absence of, of our package. Um, I think, uh, the package should help to reduce the unemployment rate by about a couple of points. So, instead of being nine, nine and half, ten, ten and a half per cent, uh, the unemployment rate, uh, uh, um, may go, uh, oh a point, a point and a half higher than it is right now. It’s about seven and a half, so we could be looking at eight and a half, you know, maybe, maybe that neighborhood instead of, uh, maybe seven and a half by the end of, uh, two thousand and ten kind of back down to where we are now. Uh, if, uh, if the program is, is, successful. Now, uh, you have to be very careful when you give these quantitative metrics because, uh, they’re kind of, uh, uh, if things go as planned and obviously, uh, there’s lots that could happen between now and then. And no economist can, can, can know the future. That’s one of the reasons why our forecasts have large, um, guess, uh, confidence intervals, but large margins of error around them,
And so, uh, I think we should look for unemployment that, that is lower than it would be otherwise. Uh, um, we think we’re gon…to, as I said, create or save, uh, three, four million jobs. We’ll be tracking that closely. And, uh, I think probably more to the ground, uh, we should be looking for, uh, uh, uh, action that’s really identifiable whether we’re talking about, um, roads, and, and bridges, and repairs made in, in, you know, your, uh, look where you live. Um, uh, the
re’s gonna be, uh, in, in a state like California, obviously a large state, you’ve got, uh, uh, twelve, uh, million people. Twelve million workers who ought to be benefiting from the making work pay tax cut. Where are you from, by the way?
Baratunde Thurston: I’m in New York state.
Jared Bernstein: Okay, so you know, you look at, you look at New York state. Uh, we expect about seven million people, uh, to benefit from the making work pay tax cut. That’s something we ought to be able to know about. Uh, we expect something like three hundred thousand families to benefit from the refundable college credit. Um, there’s a lot of unemployed people up in New York, about a million of them are gonna have, uh, uh, unemployment insurance benefits higher by about a hundred dollars a month. You know those, those are the kinds of things that we ought to be able to quantify…
Approximately eleven minutes (one third) of the phone conference call remains to be transcribed. That will get posted when it gets posted.