The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released three reports this week that form a terrifying picture for the future of our country: one about how much more federal employees are compensated over their private-sector counterparts; another about how healthcare spending will double over the next ten years; and, the third about the projected $1.08 trillion deficit and 8.9% unemployment by the end of 2012.
The picture isn’t pretty.
Below is a list of blogs from across the country which deal with the hot topics of the day:
The goal: train 124,893 people for green jobs and place at least 79,854 (63%) of them into jobs. Let’s suspend the fact that spending $500 million on training grants with only a little more than 50% placement goal seems like a bad return on investment.
Even worse than the initial goal is that now, 17 months later, just 52,762 were trained and only 8,035 (15%) found jobs. So to recap: $500 million spent to train 52,762 people (that’s $9,476 per person) for green jobs, and only 8,035 got jobs afterwards.
This afternoon, House Republicans are expected to drop a transportation bill that will fund the department at roughly the current level. The bill will fund the department for five years and shift some authority back to the states.
Unfortunately, the bill is not what is necessary in our current climate of massive budget deficits. It represents a missed opportunity to begin devolving transportation authority back to the states, and creates a massive budget gap. Because federal gas tax revenues are down, they will need to find additional revenue to close the spending gap of $59 billion.
President Obama likes to point out that infrastructure spending is something “both parties have voted for in the past.” And, like many bipartisan agreements in the past (see the debt limit increase from last August), the “agreement” is almost always to increase spending.
When it comes to current levels of highway funding, that’s not an option because revenues are down significantly. Unless highway spending is reduced, we’ll need to take money from the general fund to cover the deficit from the highway trust fund.