In case you missed it, the Jobs Creation Commission recently announced that they will be embarking on a “Listening Tour.” If this sounds all too familiar, that’s because it is! The Republican Caucus just wrapped up their 2011 GOP Jobs Tour in October.
The co-chairs of the Jobs Creation Commission state that the “listening tour” shows the “commitment the Legislature has to moving the economy forward…” While at first glance this might sound appealing to residents of the Commonwealth, what the Jobs Creation Commission fails to tell the taxpayers is that Governor Patrick signed off on the formation of the Jobs Creation Commission back in 2008. According to a State House News article written in December of 2010, “Under a resolve approved Dec. 31, 2008, state officials coping with the effects of the recession were charged with creating a special commission ‘for the purpose of making an investigation and study relative to the economy in order to create and maintain quality jobs in the Commonwealth’.”
It has taken the Commission close to 3 years to go out and listen to the residents of the Bay State who are suffering the most in this downed economy. The Republican Caucus however just wrapped up their 7 stop 2011 GOP Jobs Tour. Crisscrossing the Commonwealth, the GOP Caucus was able to solicit real world solutions from residents, businesses, and Chambers of Commerce.
Since the fall of Lehman Brothers in September 2008, Massachusetts has had a net loss of 71,969 jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics). So it took the loss of over 71,000 jobs before the Jobs Creation Commission has made the decision to convene.
Republicans have long been calling for the Jobs Creation Commission to sit-down and talk about how to improve the Massachusetts job economy. Interviewed by State House News for a December 2010 article, Republican appointee to the Jobs Caucus Paul Frost said, “In all honesty, jobs certainly should be a number one priority.” Representative Frost went on to say, “Maybe for the Democrats it seems to be campaign rhetoric, talking about job creation, rather than sitting down to talk to people…about how to create jobs.”
While we applaud the co-chairs of the Jobs Creation Commission for finally engaging the people of Massachusetts in conversation, it shouldn’t have taken 3 years and 71,000 lost jobs.