President Barack Obama asked the Congress on Thursday night to leave aside the political benefit, think about how many Americans would benefit from the huge American Jobs Act he had proposed.
“You should pass this jobs plan right away,” the president declared over and over in his 32-minute speech.
“The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working,” Mr. Obama said.
“It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for the long-term unemployed.”
He also told Republicans he would take his case directly to the American people, and called on “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,” Obama said.
Even though Mr. Obama’s proposal weren’t unexpected, the package was a lot larger than predicted, and much of the money would flow into the economic bloodstream in 2012. The measure would be similar to that of the $787 billion stimulus package approved in 2009, which was spread over more than two years. Analysts consider that the package would likely lift growth somewhat.
House Speaker John Boehner said:
“It’s my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation”
Since the Republicans control the House of Representatives, they managed to undermine many of Mr. Obama’s legislative projects.
Some Republicans have already disregard the American Jobs Act as an attempt to encourage the president’s flagging popularity in the run-up to next year’s presidential election.
About 9.1% of Americans are at the moment out of work, and the problem is expected to rule the election campaign.
Conservative Sen. Jon Kyl declared:
“President Obama, perhaps not knowing what else to do, is simply calling for more of the same, as if giving us more of the failed policies of the last two-and-a-half years will somehow yield different results. I believe President Obama’s new ‘stimulus’ will further delay economic recovery and continue to inflict harm on so many Americans.”
The Senate’s top Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said in a statement:
“I hope they (Republicans) will show the American people that they are more interested in creating jobs than defeating President Obama. Experts from the ratings agencies to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke have said that political gridlock is the main obstacle standing in the way of our economic growth. It is time to put jobs and the economy ahead of partisan politics.”
The president has to offer more details on how the American Jobs Act would be paid for, but he suggested that the money could be found in spending cuts and promised to release more details on 19 September.
The centerpiece of the plan is to expand a cut in the Federal Insurance Contributions tax, a levy paid by employers and workers to fund social security and healthcare for retirees.
Congress approved a cut in the tax for workers last year, from 6.2% to 4.2%. But that measure was supposed to expire in December.
Mr. Obama intends to continue that cut next year, to lower the tax even further to 3.1% for workers, and to extend a similar cut to companies, at a cost of $240bn.
He also suggested providing $85bn in federal government aid to local and state governments, to be spent among other things on helping to keep teachers and emergency services workers in jobs.
And a further $50bn should be spent on infrastructure projects, including a plan to upgrade the country’s airports, he said.
Click the link below to find out more information about Obama’s plan to rebuild America through the American Jobs Act: