Creating jobs should be America’s No. 1 priority. And there are a few key steps that the federal government should take now to help boost jobs.
For starters, Congress should ensure that the extended unemployment benefits passed in the recovery act do not expire as planned at the end of December. Extending the subsidies to help the unemployed purchase health insurance — or, better yet, allowing states the option to put unemployed workers on Medicaid — must also be done before the end of the year.
Second, the Feds should give states additional funding. State and local governments have shed almost 160,000 jobs over the past year, with nearly 80 percent of the job losses at the local level occurring in the last four months. These layoffs are working against economic recovery at the local level.
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