Ed. Note: Cross-posted from the USDA Blog.
Last night, I went to the Capitol to hear the President address Congress about the way forward to grow the economy and create jobs.
There is no doubt that these have been tough times. And it’s very tough for the many Americans who are looking for work. So we’ve got to keep finding ways to help the unemployed in the short term and rebuild the middle class over the long term.
The American Jobs Act that President Obama laid out this evening will have an immediate impact. It will create jobs now. And it is based on bipartisan ideas that both Democrats and Republicans have supported in the past.
Americans living in rural communities know well that the specific ideas in the bill work.
Too many of rural areas are dealing with crumbling infrastructure. They know the benefits of rebuilding local roads, or of improving their water system. And our rural construction workers are ready to get back on the job.
The small businesses that employee most rural Americans know that the tax cuts in the bill will mean more work, so they can expand and hire. And every working rural family will benefit from money back in their pockets.
Small rural governments know they can use the support to keep folks on payroll. Teachers, firefighters and other first responders need to be kept on the job preparing our children for a better future and keeping our families safe.
Most importantly, folks in rural America know that in difficult times, we need to come together to hammer out a solution that benefits everyone. And elected leaders in Washington need to do the same as they work to support job growth and build a stronger future for all Americans.
Tom Vilsack is Secretary of the Department of Agriculture.
Find out more about the American Jobs Act