Defunding The Clean Air Act Does Not Create Jobs

The more time goes on since the elections of November 2010, the more I feel convinced that there really is no serious agenda by the GOP to create jobs. I wrote about how the GOP made moves to destroy such fundamentally important programs as Americorps and the like, and how that naturally not only did not help create jobs but rather destroyed jobs that are actually out there along with potential jobs that those programs would create in the future.


If Americorps is eliminated, this in effect destroys jobs — we’re not talking about jobs that pay as well as the CEO of Hewlett Packard but rather jobs that pay well enough for people to be able to have a place to live and feed themselves. What does AmeriCorps even do? From their web site : “Whether you are tutoring kids, building homes, clearing trails or helping to start a local health clinic you will see the direct results of your work.” Therefore the elimination of AmeriCorps does not just eliminate actual jobs but the possibility of people getting jobs in the future — whether those jobs would be at said health clinic or having a better education that would enable them to find work.

Now it seems as though the next target in the crosshairs of the GOP is none other than the Clean Air Act and laws that not only keep our air clean but continue to make strides to clean up the air in areas of the United States where there are problems with polluted air.

This too does not help create jobs in this country. This would, in fact, destroy even more jobs. Funding the clean air act means funding jobs that are tied to the act. There are people employed by the Environmental Protection Agency as a result of the Clean Air Act (signed into law by President Nixon, himself of the GOP — though clearly not the same GOP that exists today as his GOP created Medicare and today’s GOP seeks to destroy it…) and those people would lose their jobs were the Clean Air Act laws get weakened.

More importantly, it seems as though the work of the Clean Air Act will not be finished until more people than not breathe good clean air and that has not happened yet. According to The State of the Air 2011 report, cited in this article, “Nearly half the people in the United States, 48.2 percent, live in counties that received an “F” for air quality due to unhealthy ozone levels.”

It is quite understandable that our budget does need to be trimmed in order to balance the budget. However, when part of the budget is cut and it causes a ballooning in another part of the budget (say, in the cost of paying for hospitalizing people who become sick because of dirty air, or people who are unable to work because of said dirty air, etc.) it does not make the budget better — it makes it much worse. It may look better on paper in the short term but it does not take into account the long term repercussions. We must always be mindful of these repercussions and, of course, keeping our nation able to go outside — and get a breath of clean air!

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