Bailout Watch 469: PTFOA Creates Motown WPA

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
bailout watch 469 ptfoa creates motown wpa

Students of history may recall the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Born in the heart of the Depression, 1935, the agency created some three million federal jobs, sucked-up $11 billion worth of taxpayer money (back when $11 billion was a lot of money) and built hundreds of roads, bridges and buildings That said, the WPA did sweet FA to decrease unemployment figures. And its inefficiency was legendary (nicknamed the “Whistle, Piss and Argue”). But the WPA was an integral part of a sea change in federal government power and scope. And now, it’s back! The Detroit News mentions, almost in passing, that Presidential Task Force on Automobiles (PTFOA) is creating a “Director of Auto Recovery for Auto Workers and Communities.” The man tipped to spread the love: Edward Montgomery, a “top labor economist” and former deputy labor secretary. Eddy’s tasked with “working to leverage all resources of government to support the workers, communities and regions that rely on the American auto industry.” His official PTFOA remit after the jump.

He will work with the Administration, relevant Governors and Congressional leaders to launch new executive and legislative initiatives to support these distressed communities and help them retool and revitalize their economies. He will identify and pursue all possible opportunities, including for example, initiatives to:

• Maximize the effectiveness of Recovery Act funds for new and more diverse economic development for new jobs, business and industry through various means including local infrastructure, housing, education and new industry.

• Deploy rapid response unit to communities facing plant closings to both meet immediate needs and to develop strategies for new job growth.

• Extend Trade-Adjustment-Assistance (TAA) to the auto industry, including retraining, healthcare extensions, income support and wage insurance.

• Attract major defense, research, green industry and other project to the region. Channel Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and other emergency grant funds to the region.

• Work with stakeholders to develop new legislative efforts to direct emergency support to affected communities and regions, and bring new jobs and economic opportunities to these areas.

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2 of 8 comments
  • Pleiter Pleiter on Mar 30, 2009

    The other nickname for it was "We Poke Along".

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Mar 30, 2009
    Not for all. the fat cats in the UAW will be sure to get thier share.... And why not? There's plenty of room at the trough along side management's fat cats. Why is the union any more to blame than management?

  • MaintenanceCosts This class of car competes hard with Chargers/Challengers and modded diesel pickups for the douchey-driving crown.
  • 28-Cars-Later Corey - I think I am going to issue a fatwa demanding a cool kids car meetup in July somewhere in the Ohio region.
  • Master Baiter Might as well light 50 $100 bills on fire.
  • Mike1041 At $300K per copy they may secure as much as 2 or 3 deposits of $1,000
  • Sgeffe Why on Earth can’t you just get the torque specs and do it yourself if you’re so-inclined?!