On Nov 8, 2011, former President Bill Clinton’s new book about putting America “Back to Work” hit the stands. The book, titled “Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy” reflects on the economic crisis, specific policy recommendations for creating jobs, and a strong defense of government spending for economic development.
The part dealing with job creation is actually an expansion on an article penned in Newsweek earlier this year in June by the President. The article included 14 ways to “put America back to work,” including speedy approvals for projects, and tax credits for startups which could be converted into its cash equivalent for every employee hired.
Other suggestions given by President Clinton included more federal support retrofitting to improve energy efficiency, green roofs, loan guarantees, cutting corporate taxes and enforcing trade laws, and more spending on student loans, high-speed rail, broadband, and on the job training for workers.
The President says in the book that, “Our ability to compete in the twenty-first century is dependent on our willingness to invest in infrastructure: we need faster broadband, a state-of-the-art national electrical grid, modernized water and sewer systems, and the best airports, trains, roads, and bridges.”
All told, the book has 46 policy proposals, including raising the social security retirement age and making it easier for skilled workers to immigrate into America.
No doubt a whole lot of people are going to protest against one or the other specific policy recommendations. But the overarching message the President is trying to convey is that the prevailing antigovernment sentiment is a mistake.
He says that “America is “in a mess now” and that “there is simply no evidence that we can succeed in the twenty-first century with an antigovernment strategy.”