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Obama pitches jobs plan

By DAVID ESPO - AP Special Correspondent
September 9, 2011

President Barack Obama delivers a speech to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Watching are Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner. (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, POOL)

Wasting no time, President Barack Obama is pitching to the public his $447 billion jobs program of tax cuts and new spending after bluntly telling Congress to “stop the political circus” and fix the economy.

But that doesn’t mean Republicans are buying.

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Thursday after Obama, in a nationally televised address to Congress, laid out an agenda that leaned heavily on payroll tax cuts to put money into the economy. “We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well.

“It’s my hope that we can work together,” Boehner added.

While noncommittal, it was one of the more generous reactions from Republicans to a speech from a Democratic president in political trouble seeking bipartisanship to repair a long-ailing economy.

“You should pass it right away,” the president told lawmakers more than once and pledged to campaign for its enactment “in every corner of this country.” To that end, Obama set his first trip for Friday to Richmond, Va., a city represented by the No. 2 Republican in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

There were other hints that Obama intends to carry the fight to Republicans, including his statement that “there’s a bridge that needs repair between Ohio and Kentucky” — the states that sent Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell to Congress.

In a statement issued after the speech, McConnell said, “For months, we’ve been engaged in a national debate about spending and debt, about the need to get our nation’s fiscal house in order, about the need to rein in government. … Yet here we are, tonight, being asked by this same president to support even more government spending with the assurance that he’ll figure out a way to pay for it later.”

Obama offered no estimate of the number of jobs his plan would create. He said the tax cuts he is recommending would mean $1,500 a year for the typical working family and $80,000 for businesses with 50 employees of average pay. Unemployment has been stuck at 9.1 percent for two consecutive months and not even the administration is projecting significant improvement anytime soon.

With a nod to deficit hawks — independent voters among them — Obama also said he would outline legislation in coming days to offset the bill’s $447 billion price tag so it wouldn’t add to federal deficits.

While the bill’s $253 billion in tax cuts could well draw support from Republicans, an additional $194 billion in new spending likely will prove a harder sell. The president asked for the money to fund highway and other construction projects, modernize schools, stabilize blighted neighborhoods and help states hire teachers and first responders.

“The president’s plan is nothing new,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the senior Republican on the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee.

Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said he was “concerned that what we’ve heard from President Obama this evening is an echo of his administration’s unsuccessful strategy of the last few years, which has resulted in unsustainable spending that has skyrocketed the budget deficit and pushed our nation further into fiscal crisis.”

“Rather than offer a new road map for recovery and reform, he merely dusted off a tired agenda of old ideas wrapped in freshly partisan rhetoric,” said Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate and a member of the special committee just embarking on talks to cut future deficits by $1.2 trillion or more.

The reaction of Democrats in Congress was supportive of the president but in terms more partisan than he had used.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he hoped the proposals would “present a litmus test to Republicans. I hope they will show the American people that they are more interested in creating jobs than defeating President Obama.”

Democrats control a majority in the Senate but lack the 60 votes to pass legislation over Republican objections.

They have little power in the House, where Republicans are in control.

But the party’s leader in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, challenged the majority in terms similar to Reid’s.

“Republicans have a choice to either work with Democrats on the immediate need to create jobs or waste more time when American families are demanding action,” she said.

The centerpiece of Obama’s plan is a reduction in the Social Security payroll tax for millions of workers as well as for employers.

The tax for individuals was cut from 6.2 percent of wages to 4.2 percent for the current year but would rise again on Jan. 1 without action by Congress. Instead, Obama proposed cutting it further for 2012, to 3.1 percent.

The same 3.1 percent tax would apply to employers, half of what they now pay. In addition, businesses would receive additional tax breaks for hiring veterans or individuals who have been without work for more than six months.

A fact sheet distributed by the White House said if enacted, the president’s proposals would prevent 280,000 teacher layoffs, modernize 35,000 schools and establish a new National Infrastructure Bank to modernize roads, rails and other public facilities.

The White House also said an extension of unemployment insurance the president is seeking would prevent 5 million Americans from losing their benefits and encourage states to put initiatives into place along the lines of a Georgia program in which individuals collecting unemployment benefits can do temporary work.

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21 Responses to Obama pitches jobs plan

  1. Sandune

    September 9, 2011 at 9:19 am

    This reaction from the GOP should be no surprise to many of us who have seen a blatant anger from the right. The first to respond was Jon Huntsman who called the speech redundant. Well that does it for Jon Huntsman. He never had a chance anyway so no harm was done.

    I had to get away from MSNBC as Chris Matthews was on an insane mission to insult as many Republicans as he could. I headed for the History Channel and listened to what caused the Mayans to leave their homes. “When God appears, unity fails.” This message was given by a Mayan holy man. Is this what has destroyed America? Is the demand for God within our government causing us to fight another civil war? I think it is.

    Unless some changes are made with respect to building jobs, it seems as if the hatred from the right has won. At least Green Bay won last night.

    We had some power outs but they did not last long enough to be serious. We were asked to turn off our air conditioning as parts of Rancho Mirage were going dark. That is the closest city that borders Palm Desert.

  2. rick

    September 9, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Why buy it? That first one was a dud. How did it work out? Seems unemployment jumped 1.5% so what will this one do? Break the magic 10% barrier? Go for it!

  3. bmclellan

    September 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    A nice tidy box of undersized band-aids when a tourniquet is required, and no mention of sanctions and tariff reform for our so called trade partners.

    Not one word about cutting back or closing the foreign aid black hole, but programs for the disadvantaged will have to be reformed or cut.

    When the camera panned the republican side of the aisle I could see racist blood in their eyes, torches and pitchforks in their hands, and fresh rope poised to throttle what is left of middle America.

    On the other side of the room democrats were taking up space and oxygen as if they were but the remains of a vacuum poised to rush headlong to entropy.

    So long America, it’s been good to know ya…

  4. griff

    September 9, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Typical…spend more now then make cuts at some unknown and likely unrealized point in the future.

    Um, we’ve been doing that for some 70 years. It doesn’t work.

    Government – this one in particular – is incapable of creating jobs. Why the American People keep looking to Washington to solve this problem is beyond me.

  5. Carl Nemo **==

    September 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    The first stimulus package was a flop. Some of the last figures I ran across said that it cost nominally $112,500 per job created. Say what? Only a criminally disposed inefficient government could do such.

    This is Obama’s last stand in order to both place and pilfer tax debt obligations upon the American people in order to line the pockets of legions of faceless parasites that will utilize the money for less than “We the People” friendly purposes. It will be misappropriated, pilfered or outright stolen with nothing to show for it, but another half trillion dollars in debt. Ouch…!

    Government isn’t the answer to our problems, but the cause of them.

    Recently too I read where the likes of Harry Reid et al. were facilitating ‘grant’ money from the first stimulus package to the Chinese for the purpose of building wind and solar farms within the U.S. The amount of domestic jobs created is nominal to nil due to the fact the equipment itself is produced in China. After these ‘green generation’ facilities are set up it takes minimum personnel to operate and maintain them.

    The only thing we need from Obama and his coterie of leftie advisers is to be gone from D.C. in January 2013; I.E., if the we’re still a viable nation and not totally broken with rioting in the streets and operating under martial law.

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Carl Nemo **==

      September 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      I made reference to Harry Reid, a ‘fine’ Democratic leader demonstrating his responsible custodianshop of the first ‘stimulus’ package. Here’s a link that should shed some light on what Obama & Co. will do with another 450 billion if it’s pitched their way courtesy our duopolist Congress. Americans have simply become their debt slaves. / : |

      http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/harry-reids-great-china-connection/question-1380769/

      Carl Nemo **==

      • b mcclellan

        September 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm

        What is the penalty for treason these days ?

        • Carl Nemo **==

          September 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

          No penalty for the guys and gals at the top Bryan, it’s only for whistleblowers like Pvt Manning et al. that might expose the seedy, criminally disposed underbelly of our attempt at empire, now obviously a failed experiment, except ours burned out 800 years sooner than that of Rome. We’re now in the sweephand mode to the midnight of our destruction as a nation.

          A quote for these seeming end times…

          *****

          “So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause”….Senator Amidala in Star Wars

          *****

          Carl Nemo **==

          p.s. Obama is a fraud and dangerous one to boot!

          • b mcclellan

            September 9, 2011 at 11:25 pm

            So heretofore we allow them to redefine humanity’s history, discounting Captain Kirk along with the federation soon to be born in a small town in Iowa.

            Tyrants have little use for less than manufactured retrospect.

            Note to historians, usurpers of reality, interpreters alike.

            Do ya think ?

    • Almandine

      September 10, 2011 at 10:28 am

      • Carl Nemo **==

        September 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        I wasn’t referencing what someone would make on their government ‘created’ job Almandine, but what it cost taxpayers to do so. The jobs weren’t $40,000 per year, but just average run of the mill above the national poverty level with bulk of the money going into shady business entrepreneurs’ mitts.

        Thanks for the link, this brouha is in my neck of the woods; I.E., the Pacific Northwest. Longshoremen have been top wage earners for years and have had a lock on the industry since the strike of the thirties. The job used to be quite dangerous and physically challenging, but with todays containerized vessels quite a bit of the loading and unloading is done by computer with operators controlling the operation from a control booth and monitoring the process via video cameras. Also modern safety regulations ensure such to the members. Granted they are being compensated in a somewhat ‘cush’ fashion, but the union worked long and hard to get where they are today. Although I’m retired military, but am very pro union. Too bad the American people in general don’t have the balls to confront our criminally disposed governent in the fashion of an old-fashioned Longshoremen’s strike as in the 30’s or truckers strikes of the past, not simply for wages, but to get our smug, giveacare overly compensated leadership a headsup as to who’s running the show; I.E., “We the People” and not they the usurpers.

        Historical link to the longshore strike of the 30’s.

        http://www.ilwu.org/

        Carl Nemo **==

        • Almandine

          September 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm

          Yeah, I got your point Carl… my point is to highlight what the cost of union jobs is in that sector of our economy. One might reasonably ask, “what does that ‘cush’ add to the cost of imported goods?”

          As for confronting criminality… do you really believe those jobs would bring that kind of pay on the open market? Or is it the criminality of govt-sponsored union monopoly that allows what many would call a rip-off of consumers?

          • Carl Nemo **==

            September 10, 2011 at 6:25 pm

            “…do you really believe those jobs would bring that kind of pay on the open market?” …extract from reply

            Of course not, but the longshoremen enjoy a unique niche jobwise within our nation’s infrastructure, so they’ve simply exploited such; I.E., control of the loading and unloading of vessels in our ports.

            General family practice physicians can’t and don’t do heart surgery so they refer one to a heart specialist/surgeon who commands a much higher fee for his niche skills within the medical profession. Although not related to union representation, the question begs should the higher skilled physician make the same as the Family practice guy in the interest of keeping a lid on wages/fees for services rendered? Of course not, the same goes for various union represented occupations too, all not being created equal in terms of their grip on commerce etc. It’s good for them and simply tough sh*t for the shippers. One of the most valuable aspects of union representation, particularly a strong organization is a “grievance process” which gives the employee a safe method to question his employer’s motives concerning job issues without the fear of being summarily terminated. That in itself is worth more than simply better wages and benefits. Without a union, an employee can simply become a victim of bad corporate governance and management.

            Carl Nemo **==

            • Almandine

              September 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm

              Unique niche? Yeah, unloading shipping cargo is the brain surgery of manual labor.

              Face it. Without the guaranteed monopoly – er, grip on commerce – anybody could come along and do it… and would at those labor rates.

              Speaking of bad governance, how ’bout that Hoffa, huh?

              • Carl Nemo **==

                September 11, 2011 at 12:28 pm

                Actually Jimmy Hoffa was an excellent union organizer. His genius was to create a symbiotic relationship with organized crime that had already made inroads controlling unions. In fact companies originally hired mob enforcers as strike breakers, so Hoffa turned the tables on the corporate guys by making a deal with these same mobsters; I.E., help him organize nationwide and he’d give them a cut. This included mob related loans from the Teamsters Pension Fund. In fact it was Teamster Fund money that helped build the original glittery Las Vegas of the 50’s through the 80’s which provided good jobs for many tradesmen and laborers.

                What’s interesting is when Jimmy was in control he never approved these mob related loans unless they were to become a solid moneymaking investment and simply didn’t finance mob business scams on demand. His successor Frank Fitzsimmons wasn’t this way and let the mob run wild in looting the fund and bringing grief upon the union itself.

                The Kennedy’s turned Jimmy Hoffa into a family ‘project'; I.E., to get this guy both publicly and privately, becoming an obsession with them. Of course the Kennedy clan comes from a ‘sterling background’ of bootlegging and other shady dealings courtesy of the patriarch Joe Kennedy’s mob connections from the 20-s and 30’s. As it’s said behind every great fortune there’s a crime.

                Hoffa was a product of the times and regardless of his life ending up badly he did a lot of good to improve the lot of the labor class in this country; I.E., those people made America great, now a nation that’s only a shadow of it’s once great manufacturing base, destroyed by criminally disposed interlopers in D.C. who’ve managed to offshore our nation to the point of oblivion as a producer of goods and offshore services.

                A series titled “Mobsters” one of my favorites gives one a inside look at America’s crime families and how they operate. One of the programs was dedicated to Jimmy Hoffa. I urge you and others to view it if you should get the chance and you might view the guy in a somewhat different light.

                Carl Nemo **==

                • Almandine

                  September 11, 2011 at 1:31 pm

                  I should have figured as the historian extraordinaire, you’d center on Jimmy, not his contemporary offspring to whom I point… a rabblerouser of the most repugnant sort.

                  That aside, what I do find interesting is your penchant for finding fault with the virtues, motives, and tactics of the crimpols in DC, who seem to have no more going for them than the ability to imitate the very same ethics and behavior seen of union bosses, whom you proclaim to be exemplary role models.

                  A serious case of cognitive dissonance, no? :-)

                  • Carl Nemo **==

                    September 11, 2011 at 2:57 pm

                    “Cognitive dissonance is a discomfort caused by holding conflicting ideas simultaneously” …extract from Wiki

                    Possibly they seem as conflicting ideas to you, but to me it’s simply a case of societal based relativism. I never suffer discomfort by holding conflicting ideas, it’s simply an expession of yin vs. yang, neither being good or bad, but simply opposites with various ditherings of gray between between absolute white and black, day and night etc. : )

                    Sorry to chaff your hide concerning my opinion of Hoffa, the Kennedys etc. I can’t speak for Hoffa’s son since I don’t follow union activities on a regular basis. He’s seemingly loud and rowdy. Surely truckers wouldn’t want a “Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm” type leading their union. :D

                    Carl Nemo **==

                    • Almandine

                      September 11, 2011 at 6:07 pm

                      Relativism… like mind over matter… if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter!

                      And here I’ve thought til now you had at least somewhat solid principles… not merely politics as usual, disguised as ethics.

                      Spoils to the brazenly effective, eh?

                    • b mcclellan

                      September 11, 2011 at 9:44 pm

                      Pop said it’s accordin to how sharp the knife of ones discontent, not to mention how wielded, said blade.

                      Empathy seems to be forthcoming in small packages.

                      Grease the combine and strip those udders if you want to eat next spring.
                      Potato time, dig ?

                      When did labor become the enemy, And how can a trail of prosperity promised,
                      dry up in such a plentiful land as ours ?

                      I am beside myself. Hack.

  6. woody188

    September 10, 2011 at 12:11 am

    I didn’t see anything here ending the reason for the lost jobs, ie global labor arbitrage, currency manipulation, a tax code that encourages off-shoring, predatory banking practices and an outright fascist bourgeoisie that uses graft (but calls it free speech) enabling them to take all gains and give nothing back to the country they live in.

    Fix the problem before dumping more money on it. Otherwise, all the stimulus just flows overseas and up to the already filthy rich. Or maybe that is exactly what Obama and Congress wants to happen…

    • Carl Nemo **==

      September 10, 2011 at 1:07 am

      “Or maybe that is exactly what Obama and Congress wants to happen…” …extract from post

      That’s exactly what’s happening Woody. They are nothing but “running dogs” for their globalist controllers known as “Deception Inc.” …! This is an unholy cabal between banking, brokerage and government compromised shills at the highest levels. They are running a “crooked casino” from the markets to our virtual reality though their solely owned MSM outlets. We truly are living in a “Matrix”, but the average citizen/intellect refuses to believe such and that’s why their ongoing criminally disposed paradigm succeeds and will continue on until our now fragile Republic is destroyed. : |

      Carl Nemo **==