The much-anticipated jobs plan, the American Jobs Act, was unveiled this evening. The president started his speech by appealing to the American Dream and the greatness of the United States. He said government alone cannot fix the economy but business needs to help. The jobs plan, the president said, has provisions that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on. The overarching theme for President Obama is "Pass this bill."
The president goes on to challenge Congress about allowing other countries to outpace the United States in infrastructure. Obama said, "Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us an economic superpower. And now we're going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?" Republicans, so far, are against infrastructure building. They do not believe faster railroads are necessary. This part of the bill will most likely be seen as more stimulus spending.
Obama said the bill would help small businesses create jobs. He said, "Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or raise workers' wages. Pass this jobs bill, and all small business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year. If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that's an $80,000 tax cut. And all businesses will be able to continue writing off the investments they make in 2012." This part of the plan should appeal to both Republicans and Democrats. Small business will lead the way on new hiring and providing tax breaks will aid them.
The jobs plan, according to the president, will help to repair and update 35,000 schools, which aids the construction industry. The bill will put teachers back to work in every state. He also wants to give tax credits to companies that hire veterans. If a company hires a worker who's been looking for employment for more than six months, they will receive a $4,000 tax credit. If this part of the bill is passed, new hiring should increase. A $4,000 tax credit for each worker can offset new hire spending.
The president's plan includes restructuring the tax code to get rid of loopholes. He also wants to increase taxes on the rich and cites Warren Buffett paying a lower tax rate than his secretary as an example. He said, "Right now, Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary Â– an outrage he has asked us to fix. We need a tax code where everyone gets a fair shake, and everybody pays their fair share."
Obama closed with, "I ask every American who agrees to lift your voice and tell the people who are gathered here tonight that you want action now. Tell Washington that doing nothing is not an option. Remind us that if we act as one nation, and one people, we have it within our power to meet this challenge.
President Kennedy once said, "Our problems are man-made Â– therefore they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants."
President Obama said his plan will be paid for by increasing the deficit reduction plan. The current plan calls for $1.5 trillion in cuts and the president's jobs plan is around $450 billion. The plan has good ideas for helping the economy get back on track. One of the big things missing is how to fix the housing crisis. A lot of homes are underwater. A plan needs to come forward for that issue.
(Photo Source: Flickr)