I wish to enact a jobs bill that accomplishes two things. First, we provide living wage employment to individuals so they are able to meet their financial obligations and meet the financial needs of their families. Secondly, this jobs bill must employ these individuals in the service of making our nation stronger, faster and better prepared for the 21st century and beyond.
The bill will be modeled after the public works programs of the 1930's under FDR. The best part is that anyone and everyone can contribute. Whether an individual performs physical labor or other services for these projects, there will be a place for everyone to earn a living and rebuild this great nation of ours at the same time.
We need to hire the millions of unemployed Americans across our nation, and more specifically, our district, to rebuild American infrastructure. We need to rebuild the energy grid to make the flow of energy more efficient and more reliable to consumers. We need to install millions of miles of fiber-optic cables across the district enabling people everywhere in the district to have access to the world of information at our fingertips.
We need to rebuild and expand our roads and bridges. There are hundreds of bridges in our district alone which have been deemed "deficient". After all the jobs lost in the district, imagine the people in Galesburg and surrounding communities being given the opportunity to earn a living wage and rebuild their own community at the same time.
Imagine the people of Sterling and Rock Falls being able to reduce their unemployment rate significantly through these public works programs while at the same time providing an income to meet the needs of their families. Imagine putting the unemployed from Rockford, through Freeport, over to Galena to work rebuilding and expanding U.S. 20 to improve commerce and tourism.
Imagine the increase and boost to the local economy in the Quad-Cities if those who are unemployed were able to obtain a job tearing down the existing I-74 bridge and helping build the new one. And with all this new construction going on, imagine the boost to construction equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar in Peoria and Deere & Co. in the QC who will have increased orders and hire even more workers.
Not only would these individuals across the district be making their local community better and more attractive to business, but they would also be earning a living wage. This would provide them the chance to meet their bills but also to spend money in their local economies. Such an increase in spending creates more demand on local businesses which in turn leads to more job growth in those areas.
All these new jobs will also help grow the tax base thereby creating more in federal revenue to offset some of the expenditures proposed by this bill. There is a certain level of pride an individual feels when they can look at something and say "I helped build that."
There is an even greater sense of pride knowing that hard work and dedication have provided your family with greater opportunities than you have enjoyed yourself. The people of the 17th district have known these feelings. This jobs bill will help give them the opportunity to have those feelings again.