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Give States Funds to Spur Job Growth: Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton

To chip away at unemployment, former President Clinton proposed Thursday on CNBC that employers with open jobs hire a newly trained employee whose education is funded by the government.

“I think every state should be given a list of every job that's been vacant for three weeks or longer,” he said, speaking from the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City, an annual forum that draws government and business leaders in an attempt to solve thorny world problems.

As the national unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent this week, Clinton voiced a solution to address it.

“I think every state should have a pot of training money, and they ought to be able to go to the employer and say: ‘What do you want? We will give you the money to train these people or we will give it to the local community college.’ And they [the prospective employees] can get the training, while they're still going on unemployment. That helps the whole economy.”

Clinton said that President Obama and Congress have done a better job than they are credited with. But, he added, he can understand the frustration of the American people, “They [the Democrats] only hire Democrats: When they need things fixed, they don't feel fixed."

Banks and bank lending remain a problem, noted the former president. “At conservative ratios, banks can loan 10 times their uncommitted cash reserves,” he said. “So they could loan $18 trillion, and it would be far more conservative than what happened to cause this meltdown.”

Clinton referenced the 19th-century bank robber Willie Sutton, who famously said he stole from banks, because, “That’s where the money is.”

“You don't need to rob them [banks],” said Clinton. “We need to figure out what would give them the confidence to loan the money.”

Watch “Meeting of the Minds: The Future of the Global Economy” with Maria Bartiromo, tonight at 8pm ET on CNBC.