Buried deep within the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll is this little nugget, 62% of Americans want the government to pay private companies for eight weeks in order to retrain long term unemployed workers. Americans want the government to help create jobs.
Question 34 of the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll asked about the popularity of various job creation proposals that might make their way into President Obama’s jobs speech this week. The most popular proposal of all was, “Paying for long-term unemployed workers to train at private companies for eight weeks, and then giving the companies an option to hire them.”
Sixty two percent of those surveyed thought this was a good idea. Only 17% thought that this was a bad idea, and 21% didn’t know enough. The second most popular idea was a highway construction bill. By a margin of 47%-26%, respondents supported an infrastructure bill. By a 2-1 margin those polled supported extending the payroll tax, 40%-20%. The least popular idea was only extending unemployment benefits which were narrowly supported, 44%-39%.
The fact that 62% of those surveyed think that it is a good idea for the government to pay private companies to hire people means that the American people want the government to help create jobs. This blows a huge hole in the entire Republican argument that if we lower taxes enough, the “job creators” will create jobs. The American people aren’t buying it because the nation has lowered taxes on the so called job creators for a decade, and has seen the American economy sink to its lowest depths since the Great Depression.
The plan that was widely supported in this poll would involve the government creating jobs. Employers would be getting paid government money to hire the unemployed. After the two month training period employers would have the option of hiring the new trained workers at their own expense, but beneath the private sector veneer, this would essentially be a government funded jobs programs. The only hang up would be the question of whether or not President Obama could get enough funding to put millions of Americans back to work.
Politically this poll signals that a majority of the American people want Obama to announce a program that won’t just provide benefits for the unemployed, or put a little extra money in workers’ pockets. They want jobs, and they want the government to help create those new jobs. President Obama has nothing to lose by proposing a government backed jobs plan.
People don’t want the government to give them a job, but they do want the government to spend some money to help create more private sector jobs, and my guess is that once this plan got rolling employers would love it, and clamor for it to be continued.
This belief runs contrary to everything Republicans and their presidential candidates have been telling the American people all through 2011. Most people aren’t buying the conservative myth of the private sector Great American Job Creator. With screams of socialism that will certainly echo through the halls of Congress, Republicans are sure to oppose any plan that would use government money to create jobs.
The problem is that most Americans are deeply yearning for what the Republicans have labeled socialism. They know that the private sector is not going to hire people again without a nudge from the federal government.
When push comes to shove Americans love their socialism, and right now they really want the government to help them get a job.
Image: Black Media Scoop