In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Obama continued to insist upon his ill-conceived “Veterans Jobs Corps” proposal as a solution for reducing unemployment among vets. What a misguided idea.
This is an issue we’ve covered repeatedly here at Concerned Veterans for America (CVA), but it’s worth walking through one more time: if we want to put veterans to work, we need economic growth, not another government scheme. Our CEO Pete Hegseth made this argument forcefully in National Review last month.
The Veterans Jobs Corps scheme was checked in the Senate last month—it’s for the best that this questionable boondoggle was stopped. This development resulted in the predictable round of accusations from the bill’s supporters accusing their adversaries of “not caring” about veterans, which is nonsense.
It’s unfortunate that partisans immediately stoop to smears and questioning motivations, rather than debating the policy points fairly. (This overheated blog post, which accuses senators who questioned the efficacy of the Veterans Jobs Corps concept of “betraying” veterans, is a case in point.) As an Air Force veteran, I also want to see my compatriots placed into good jobs after they leave the service; the question is how to achieve that end most effectively.
Democrats and Republicans want the same end here—both want to get veterans into good jobs after their service to this nation. The dispute arises over the best way to get there. Should it be through a broader agenda of economic growth (“a rising tide lifts all boats”), or through another targeted hiring program that, if history is any guide, will fall short of its goals?
I say we should vote for growth—Washington needs to focus on getting spending and debt under control now, and maintain sensible, pro-growth tax policies that will allow the private sector to thrive. That’s the way forward to bring down the jobless rate for both veterans and the wider American workforce.
Darin Selnick is an independent consultant and a member of the Concerned Veterans for America’s organizing committee.