We can't emphasize this enough: The economy sucks, especially in L.A., where the number of folks without jobs overshadows the unemployment stats in most other cities aside from Detroit.
Even though the recession is officially over (experts say it ended June, 2009), it sure feels worse than when it began in 2007.
And, to add insult to injury, Los Angeles County will probably lose 7,000 jobs beginning next week unless the folks in Washington do something fast to stop a looming deadline:
Now, federal cash has run out for the “10,000 Jobs Program” (which actually employs 7.000 in L.A. — go figure).
“This program was made possible by economic stimulus dollars and has created jobs for thousands of people,” says Don Knabe, a Los Angeles County Supervisor.
He calls it a “tragedy” if Congress lets the program expire, and says the money “actually reduced both the State and the Federal government's costs to provide welfare benefits.”
Money for the jobs came from $5 billion of federal stimulus money rammed through by President Obama.
Los Angeles County's cut was used to place employees at private businesses and nonprofit groups on Washington's dime.
But the funding expires Sept. 30.
“If Congress were to reauthorize this for another year, we could keep these folks working, and employ more, and we could save taxpayers money,” said Knabe.
The appeal highlights a fundamental divide in politics:
Democrats are all for having taxpayers foot the bill for make-work jobs that can goose the economy.
Republicans would rather have such largess go into tax cuts for businesses and the rich that could “trickle down” into boosted hiring and spending.
What do you think?