Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has offered his own $804 billion jobs plan that calls on the federal government to hire the nation’s 15 million unemployed Americans for jobs paying roughly $40,000 each, and bail out all the states and cities facing budget crises.
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 we’re 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 government’s direct hiring of the nation’s 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. “That’s 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. Jackson’s 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, he’s calling on the president to suspend the Constitution? As a representative of the people, you don’t give up when you hit a roadblock and throw the Constitution out the window – you keep working to get something done."