In an interview with the Daily Caller on Wednesday, the Illinois Democrat applauded President Obama for directing his staff to greenlight job-creating initiatives without congressional approval after his $447 billion jobs bill was defeated in the Senate this week. Now were making some progress, Jackson said, comparing the legislative gridlock in Congress to the states that seceded from the union during the Civil War.
"We've seen Congress is in rebellion," he said, "determined to wreck or ruin at all costs." Jackson said the governments direct hiring of the nations 15 million unemployed Americans would cost $600 billion. It could be a five-year program, he said. For another $104 billion, we bail out all of the states. For another $100 billion, we bail out all of the cities.
We put people to work cleaning up communities. We put people to work through a civilian conservation corps, through a Works Progress Administration because the hour demands it, he said. And as more people work, they pay taxes, they pay taxes into the 4th quarter, they buy wares, they buy homes, they meet their obligations and our economy begins to work its way out of this protracted recession, he continued. Thats the only way out of this crisis. And I hope the president begins to continue to exercise extraordinary constitutional means based on the history of Congresses that have been in rebellion in the past.
But not everyone is convinced that Jackson's plan would work. Even a fellow Democrat has criticized it. In Rep. Jacksons entire congressional career, he has never introduced a single jobs bill, Debbie Halvorson, who is challenging Jackson in the Democratic primary, said in a written statement. Now, hes calling on the president to suspend the Constitution? As a representative of the people, you dont give up when you hit a roadblock and throw the Constitution out the window you keep working to get something done."
Read more: Rep. Jesse Jackson Calls On Government To Hire All Unemployed Americans For $40,000 Each | Fox News
Sowell, a senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, says he would like to see a constitutional amendment barring politicians from intervening in the economy under any circumstances. Sowell is also a syndicated columnist and winner of the National Humanities Award. His latest book, The Thomas Sowell Reader, is a compilation of his writings on various issues over the past three decades. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Sowell was asked who is to blame for the dire state of the American economy.
Practically everybody, and I think particularly the Washington politicians, he declares. The crucial fact that brought this on was the failure of people with mortgages to pay those mortgages, and that in turn was due to politicians forcing lending institutions to lower their lending standards. That brought in lots of people who would not have been given mortgages before, who then failed to live up to their mortgages which is exactly why the standards were higher before the politicians intervened. Theres a great pressure on people in Washington to do something, and that pressure has led to many things that have been counterproductive.
Right now the problem is not that there isnt money in the economy. The problem is that the money is sitting idle. Banks and businesses have had record-breaking amounts of cash sitting around and are not doing anything with it. And theyre very prudent to be hesitant. They dont know what new bright idea will occur in Washington over the next year that will mess up any investment that they make. Americans should not accept that unemployment will remain high regardless of who controls Washington, Sowell says.
Not at all. Unemployment can go up and it can come down depending in many cases on what kind of policies the government follows. Even after the great stock market crash of 1929, the unemployment rate did not reach double digits in any of the 12 months that followed. It reached double digits after the politicians started intervening. His prescription for fixing the economy: I would love to have a constitutional amendment that says politicians are not allowed to intervene in the economy under any circumstances. I think there would be a boom following that.