Much of the country listened to the president’s speech last night, and when it was finished, many still weren’t sure what Mr. Obama was telling us. His larger than expected $450 billion plan to boost the availability of jobs and put cash back into the pockets of the American people sounded wonderful. The plan was also heavy on tax cuts, which should please the Republican members of the congress. With a dwindling popularity and re-election looming over him, Obama needed to put pressure on congress to share in the responsibility of fixing the economic mess that this country is mired in.
First element of plan
Without telling us how it was going to be paid for, the President put forth several key points to his plan. First on his list is slashing social security payroll taxes for workers and employers. This means that an individual would pay 4.2% instead of 6.2% into social security on payday. The cuts for employers would be even deeper. Obama wants to halve taxes to 3.1% on the first $50 million of payroll. Businesses that hire new workers or give raises to those already employed in their business would get an even better deal. On payroll increases up to $50 million, they would not have to pay any social security tax. It is also notable that Obama said many times throughout his speech, “You should pass this.”
Second element of plan
With 14 million people out of work, and the number is probably higher, the president desperately wants to get bipartisan support for this second element in his plan; a jobs initiative. The country seems to be stuck at 9.1% on it’s jobless rate, and the confidence of the American public is at an all time low. Obama’s jobs plan is unique because he really dosen;t have anything to back it up with. But, He wants to create jobs, without any figures as to how many, and no figures as to how much it would cost us, or how it would be paid for. He did say that information would be released soon.
Mr. Obama wants to fix our deteriorating road system, fix our schools, hire local teachers and add to our police forces. He also mentioned extending unemployment benefits an additional 12 months to help the unemployed whose benefits were about to run out. He also wants to give tax credits to businesses that hire the unemployed that have been out of work for 6 months or longer. Again, he said, “pass this bill.”
Can this plan go through?
It has been suggested that this was a way for Mr. Obama to put pressure on congress to act, and act now in the face of a run-a-way, deteriorating economy. Most voters feel that ‘enough is enough’ when it comes to spending by the congress with no plans in place to pay for the package. The bottom line is on the horizon, it is time to quit wasting the public’s time with the continous and neverending ‘do nothing’ attitude our congress is displaying, and get down to the business of straightening this mess out. We will see what happens next week.