Entries in American Jobs Act (6)


Obama: 'We Can't Wait' to Help Young People Get Summer Jobs

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will continue his campaign to bypass Congressional opposition to his jobs agenda on Thursday by announcing a new partnership aimed at helping a quarter of a million young people find summer jobs.

The initiative, part of Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign, is intended to replace a youth jobs fund that would have been enacted had Congress passed the president’s $447 billion jobs bill.

“America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job.  It’s important for their future, and for America’s.  That’s why I proposed a summer jobs program for youth in the American Jobs Act – a plan that Congress failed to pass.  America’s youth can’t wait for Congress to act.  This is an all-hands-on-deck moment,” Obama said in a written statement.

The new partnership between the Federal government and the private sector commits to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer.

Republicans have pushed back against the announcement.

“Everyone agrees internships are a helpful tool for youth, particularly in this economy.  Yet rather than taking credit for programs that companies already had in place, a more constructive use of the White House’s time would be calling on Democratic leaders to act on the dozens of House-passed jobs bills still sitting idle in Democratic-run Senate,” a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Military Veteran

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Democrats and Republicans lowered their swords long enough Thursday to pass the Vow to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which would dangle tax credits at employers as incentive to hire military veterans. The House is expected to pass it next week.

In the meantime, however, there are plenty of other reasons to hire military veterans. Here are 10 of them, courtesy of the U.S. Labor Department:

Accelerated learning curve: Veterans have the proven ability to learn new skills and concepts. In addition, they can enter your workforce with identifiable and transferable skills, proven in real-world situations.

  Veterans understand the practical ways to manage behaviors for results. They also know the dynamics of leadership as part of both hierarchical and peer structures.

Teamwork:  Military duties involve a blend of individual and group productivity. They also necessitate a perception of how groups of all sizes relate to each other and an overarching objective.

Diversity and inclusion in action: Veterans have learned to work side by side with individuals regardless of diverse race, gender, geographic origin, ethnic background, religion, and economic status as well as mental, physical, and attitudinal capabilities.

Efficient performance under pressure:
 Veterans understand the rigors of tight schedules and limited resources. They know the critical importance of staying with a task until it is done right.

Respect for procedures: Veterans have gained a unique perspective on the value of accountability. They can grasp their place within an organizational framework, becoming responsible for subordinates’ actions to higher supervisory levels.

Technology and globalization:
 Because of their experiences in the service, veterans are usually aware of international and technical trends pertinent to business and industry. They can bring the kind of global outlook and technological savvy that all enterprises of any size need to succeed.

 Veterans know what it means to do “an honest day’s work.” Prospective employers can take advantage of a track record of integrity, often including security clearances.

Conscious of health and safety standards: Thanks to extensive training, veterans are aware of health and safety protocols both for themselves and the welfare of others. On a company level, their awareness and conscientiousness translate into protection of employees, property, and materials.

Triumph over adversity:
 In addition to dealing positively with the typical issues of personal maturity, veterans have frequently triumphed over great adversity. They likely have proven their mettle in mission critical situations demanding endurance, stamina, and flexibility.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Says Republicans 'Did the Right Thing' to Pass Jobs Bill

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After weeks of publicly campaigning against Republicans for failing to act on portions of his $447 billion jobs bill, President Obama said Thursday they “did the right thing.”

On the eve of Veterans Day, the president praised Senate Republicans and Democrats for passing an element of his jobs bill that will offer companies tax incentives to hire unemployed and disabled veterans.

“Tomorrow, our nation will commemorate Veterans Day and honor the service and the sacrifice of all who have worn the uniform of the United States of America,” Obama said in a written statement. “No veteran who fought for our nation should have to fight for a job when they come home, and I urge the House to pass these tax credits as well so I can sign them into law.”

Thursday marks the first time a portion of the president’s American Jobs Act has gained approval and Obama, not surprisingly, urged lawmakers to “pass additional jobs proposals in the weeks ahead to help the millions of other Americans who are still looking for work.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


The Long-Term Unemployed Diss Obama's Jobs Plan

Creatas Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama continues promoting the American Jobs Act across the country, criticism of his jobs plan is coming from a surprising quarter -- the unemployed themselves.

The longest of the long-term unemployed, so-called "99ers" whose benefits have run out, say the president's plan ignores their needs. They say that while it gives employers an $8 billion incentive to hire people out of work, it leaves them free to discriminate against 99ers -- who now number some seven million -- and to hire instead the more recently unemployed.

The president's latest speech on job creation in North Carolina Wednesday came amidst increasing public skepticism of his $447 billion plan.  A Bloomberg poll released earlier that day found that 51 percent of Americans don't think the plan will help lower unemployment.  Only 36 percent approve of his efforts to create jobs, and the president's approval rating stands at the lowest of his presidency -- 45 percent.

Mariana DiFlorio, a 99er who lives outside Charleston, South Carolina, says she's disappointed in Obama's plan.

"It says what he would do to put construction workers back to work; it talks about the needs of teachers and young people and public service workers who need jobs," she says.  But, she adds, it all but ignores the plight of those like herself who have gone so long without work that all their benefits have finally run out.

"I think his priorities are wrong," says DiFlorio.  "His list is a little backwards."

In her view, the most help for the unemployed ought to go first to veterans, then to first-responders, then to 99ers.  Everybody else who's unemployed, she thinks, ought to get in line after that.

Gregg Rosen, president of The American 99ers Union, a group that champions the needs of the long-term unemployed, said he, too, is disappointed with Obama's jobs plan.  It's a fine thing, in his view, that it provides some $8 billion in new incentives for employers to hire the long-term unemployed.  But Rosen and his group take issue with the definition of that term.

Under the president's plan, employers would get a special tax credit of up to $4,000 for each unemployed person they hire who has been out of work for six months or more.  That incentive, thinks Rosen, could actually work against the interests of 99ers, since it leaves employers free to discriminate between the short-term and longer-term unemployed.

"Incentives like this have been tried before," he says, "and the unfortunate fact is, some employers have tried to work around the system" by hiring only the most recent jobless.  He cites job notices in newspapers that say "long-term unemployed need not apply" -- or words to that effect.

The Obama plan, he says, leaves "a gap where it's still possible to discriminate against 99ers."  He fears employers will be happy to take the $4,000, will be happy to hire somebody six months out of work, and will be happy not to hire somebody else out of work two years or more.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Tax the Rich' Aspect of Jobs Bill Punted to Super Committee

Kevin Lamarque-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama wants to pay for his $447 billion American Jobs Act with a mix of so-called revenue enhancers, mostly by taxing the wealthy.

The president said Monday he hopes the special Congressional super committee already charged with making $1.5 trillion in cuts to reduce the deficit by Nov. 23 will "overachieve" and consider his proposals to pay for the plan, which is intended to stimulate job creation.  Republican reception was cool, with the party's top leaders saying tax increases are unacceptable and job-killing.

Steven Leslie, lead analyst for financial services at the Economist Intelligence Unit, part of the Economist Group, said the measures announced Monday had already been debated before August's deficit reduction plan.

"These are almost exactly like the ones Obama proposed a month ago: shift the tax burden to the wealthy people and close some of these loopholes on corporate airplanes," Leslie said.

The plan includes new limits on deductions for income over $250,000 which the White House says could raise $400 billion over 10 years, oil and gas tax measures which would raise $40 billion, and limiting tax deductions for corporate jets which could raise $3 billion.

Office of Management and Budget Chair Jack Lew on Monday also described changes to the taxation of carried interest, raising $18 billion from the income of hedge fund and private equity managers. 

Billionaire Warren Buffett previously criticized the current policy which he said allows his secretary to pay more in taxes than he does.

The committee, which met for the first time on Sept. 8, holds its first hearing Tuesday.  At the hearing, Congressional Budget office director Doug Elmendorf will testify on "The History and Drivers of Our Nation's Debt and Its Threats."

Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell said the measures were "repackaged" from previous White House proposals, like Dr. Seuss' Green Eggs and Ham.  He said he doubts the measures will effectively stimulate the economy.

"As they say in the children's book, 'I do not like them in a house.  I do not like them with a mouse.  I do not like them here or there.  I do not like them anywhere,'" Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the most newsworthy announcement on Monday was that the president was targeting itemized deductions, as opposed to increasing the marginal tax rate.  He said most economists across an ideological spectrum agree doing the latter would create the most damage per dollar raised because it affects the incentive to earn additional income.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Jobs Plan Cheered by Economists

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama's $447 billion American Jobs Act is getting mostly solid marks from business experts and economists, who worry that a divided Congress may be unable to pass anything meaningful in time.

The president's plan would eliminate payroll taxes for companies that add workers or increase wages of current workers, but that benefit is capped to the first $50 million in payroll increases.  The plan has a $4,000 tax credit for employers who hire long-term unemployed workers, plus a "returning heroes" hiring tax credit of $5,600 to $9,600 for each unemployed vet hired.

The proposals include reforming the unemployment insurance program, a $50 billion extension in unemployment insurance to prevent five million people looking for work from losing benefits and state assistance for wage insurance.

Small businesses would get a 50 percent cut in the first $5 million in payroll taxes.  The White House said 98 percent of businesses have payroll below that threshold.

Political analysts say Republicans may be in favor of the tax cuts in the president's proposals, but will oppose the parts of the $447 billion plan that call for new government spending.  The spending measures include a $50 billion investment in infrastructure, a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank and aid to state governments.

Cecilia Rouse, economics professor at Princeton and former member of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said the president is proposing a "sensible" package of strategies while the private sector continues to struggle.  Rouse said she was "particularly pleased" to see an extension in unemployment insurance for an additional year.

"They are a critical form of assistance for so many families as well as one of the fastest and most effective ways of helping to increase economic activity during a downturn," she said.

Rouse said the proposed employment tax cuts, for both employers and individuals, are warranted, and investments in infrastructure "just make sense" given the numbers of unemployed construction workers and the low rates at which the federal government can borrow.  Further state aid will help the economy a great deal given that public sector employment has been unusually hard hit in this downturn.

But she would have liked for Obama to have proposed more innovation for services that help the unemployed find jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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