The Obama Jobs Plan, which will be highlighted in a speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday, is expected to offer various measures to deal with the sagging US economy. The speech has now become even more significant, as the Labor Department reported this week that the economy failed to create any new jobs in August. Growing frustration is apparent in all sectors, including many in Obama's political base such as trade unions and minority groups.
Many analysts expect the President to propose a varied approach, which will include a mix of tax breaks, homeowner incentives and spending on public works projects. The Obama jobs plan may also include infrastructure bank and corporate tax reform.
Gene Sperling, Obama's top economic adviser, said "The economic case is quite compelling that we need to do something that can have a definitive and meaningful impact on projected economic growth over the next 12 to 18 months and on ... job growth and the President felt very strongly about that even before the job growth number today."
President Obama faces an extremely difficult political landscape, with the Republican-controlled House of Representatives expected to block many of his proposals. When heated debate arises over small details, such as what day the president will address Congress, we should all be concerned. Even the phrase "Obama jobs plan" is a misnomer - it should be viewed as a "US jobs plan", one intended to drive economic improvement for the nation. Strong leadership is desperately needed in Washington. Debate is healthy, but at the end of the day there needs to be agreement and commitment on a definitive and comprehensive plan.
In all fairness to the President, he did not create the economic conditions we are now facing. He is at the helm of a ship that has been poorly steered for decades. However, it is clear that his economic policies have made things much worse. With the Democrat-controlled Congress in place, the president went on a two-year spending spree which included failed stimulus programs and a major new entitlement program. The Democrat ideology, embodied by the President, collided with the US economy at the worst possible time and now we are all faced with the consequences.
Bold and drastic measures are now desperately needed. The President demonstrated such leadership this week when he shelved an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to tighten smog standards. US industry has been stifled with over-regulation, which has cost an untold number of jobs and significantly added to trade deficits. The pendulum needs to swing back towards pro-business policies, ones that drive economic growth and place the United States in a position for success.
Dormant Bethlehem Steel Factory (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)
Photo source: Flickr
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