Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Eric Cantor's "jobless" job fair

What if somebody gave a job fair and there were almost no jobs to be had? That's precisely what Congressman Eric Cantor did today, sponsoring a job fair with ninety local companies acting as "exhibitors" to put on a good show for thousands of jobless Virginians who fought traffic and long lines to try and find a job. But the whole thing was misleading, a put on--the "employers" were there just to pay Cantor back for getting them more than $50,000,000 in Recovery Act funds.

The only problem with this picture is that few of the exhibitors actually had significant numbers of jobs to offer applicants. In fact, at least twenty of the companies represented at the job fair had no jobs to offer--not a single job. These companies showed up for no reason other than to provide Eric Cantor some cover for the truly pitiful job he is doing when it comes to working for full employment in Virginia's 7th Congressional District.

For the Virginians who attended this job fair the entire affair was just a waste of time. Cantor misled all these people who are desperate for a job into wasting their time, gasoline, and resume paper. For what? A cynical act of self-promotion by Eric Cantor, paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Democrat Rick Waugh was there, holding Eric Cantor accountable for Cantor's poor record of job creation. In addition to holding signs, Waugh--a social worker--also made information available to job fair attendees about government programs to help the unemployed. Eric Cantor has blocked legislation that would have extended jobless benefits--thanks to Eric Cantor 40,000 Virginians will lose their unemployment benefits at the end of the month.

Waugh released the following statement during the event (it's hard to call it a job fair and still keep a straight face):
I hope that every person who comes to this job fair gets a job. Times are tough, and our number one priority is to get folks back to work. However, we will do that with investment rather than gimmicks and window dressing at the tax payers’ expense. We need real investment in infrastructure, education, and small business loans to create jobs in this country.

Eric Cantor and the GOP party bosses up in DC have decided to vote against unemployment benefits extensions: these folks are hard working Americans doing everything they can to find a job so that they can support their families. They aren’t looking for a hand-out, they are looking for a hand-up. To suggest otherwise is an insult to families all over this District and this country. Mr. Cantor’s GOP superior, John Boehner compared the financial crisis and recession to an ant – a little insect that can be swatted aside. Well, I tell you folks this is no ant, it is an elephant! Which is fitting.
In the Economist, Paul Krugman was quoted saying folks like Cantor, ”Seem to be getting their talking points from the collected speeches of Herbert Hoover.” I think what he meant is that we need to prop up demand in this economy and one of the most effective ways to do that is to extend unemployment benefits.

I have no idea why Mr. Cantor is voting in a way that could lead us into a double dip recession and even higher unemployment rates. Does he want the economy to get worse so that his party will do well at the ballot box? I can’t imagine doing that. I would rather lose this election than win it at the cost of one more American losing a job, one more family losing their home, one more child losing out on the education that he or she deserves.

Did you know that Cantor is using our money, federal money to pay for this event? Our money should be spent on investment, not gimmicks and window dressing. As I said, I hope that every participant in this fair has a job as soon as possible, so why do I call it window dressing? Of all the 93 companies and institutions appearing at this job fair 62 are offering 5 or fewer positions in Central VA or couldn’t say how many positions they were offering, and 24 are offering NONE AT ALL. Over one quarter of the “employers” at this fair have no positions at all or the vague promise of something in North Carolina or Texas. Now those are great states, but clearly that isn’t helping the economy here in our District.
Waugh had a decent turn out of volunteers for this event. Floyd Bayne also had a single volunteer come out and place some yard signs.

I hope you will head over to Rick Waugh's site and show your support.

1 comment:

nocantor2010 said...

Cantor is the master of spinning right wing bumper sticker material, but absolutely no substance. Smaller government? What, specifically, does that even mean? So many of your right wingers spout off a need for small government, but you are clueless when it comes to realistic details as to how to achieve that. OK, Eric, even on your website if you won't debate, tell me, specifically, what cuts you will make to shrink our government. Show me, specifically, the associated costs, and how they pay for tax decreases and deficit reduction- dollar for dollar. Specifics, Eric, not the mindless generalties that your sheep seem to eat up.