Democrats Contemplate 1970s-era Jobs Program

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As desperate Democratic lawmakers cast about for ways to create jobs from Capitol Hill, a 1970s-era jobs program is getting a fresh look.

Known as CETA -- the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act -- the program provided direct government funding to hire temporary workers. At its peak in 1978, it had created 725,000 public service jobs and shaved roughly one point off the unemployment figure.

A one-point drop in the unemployment rate -- not to mention the ancillary benefit of hundreds of thousands of people having money to spend on other goods and services -- would give politicians something concrete to point to before the mid-term elections.

"That's certainly one of the options being discussed, the CETA program back in the 70s," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told HuffPost in a recent interview, when asked if leadership was considering direct government hiring as a partial answer to the deepening unemployment.

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