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Entries in Proposal (4)

Tuesday
Sep132011

'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

Friday
Sep092011

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

Thursday
Sep082011

Would Obama's Infrastructure Plan Create Jobs Now?

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama isn’t likely to use the term “shovel-ready” in his jobs speech Thursday night, but he is expected to call for billions in new government spending for infrastructure projects he believes will lead to immediate hiring.

“We’ve got roads and bridges across this country that need rebuilding.  We’ve got private companies with the equipment and the manpower to do the building,” Obama told a crowd Monday in Detroit.  “We’ve got more than one million unemployed construction workers ready to get dirty right now.”

Sources knowledgeable about the administration proposals say Obama might seek to fast-track up to $50 billion in infrastructure spending in the next year as part of a broader transportation package -- an idea he first proposed a year ago but failed to gain traction.

The White House has not provided details of the plan or estimates for job creation, but economists on both ends of the political spectrum say infrastructure improvements might not make much of a splash in the short-term.

“It’s not good stimulus,” said Alice Rivlin, a Democratic member of the president’s Debt Commission and former head of the Office of Management and Budget.

“It doesn’t come online fast enough.  If you’re really talking about things that will create jobs quickly, you need to rely on either direct government hiring in the manner of things done in the Great Depression, or demand side things that will get more money spent by wage earners,” she said.

Alan Viard, an economist with the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, said infrastructure spending can be “reasonably powerful” but cautioned additional funding might not be the most effective way to spend the taxpayers’ dime.

“I think we need to be cautious how much we expect any of these packages to do, regardless of who’s proposing them,” Viard said.  ”I think the jury is out on the question of how much demand stimulus can help when you have one of these long recessions following a financial crisis.”

John Horsely, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, says a concentrated infusion of $50 billion now could lead to the employment of hundreds of thousands.

“The president wants to jump-start the economy and create jobs, and so if he could manage to get the authority to spend $50 billion all in one year, you would probably have a much higher number of jobs created, if it all happened in one year,” Horsely said.

Republicans have signaled they are not willing to support additional spending that might add to the deficit.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
May212011

Liberty Media Proposes to Acquire Barnes & Noble

Photos[dot]com/Jupiterimages(ENGLEWOOD, Colo.) -- Liberty Media Corporation has announced that it has made a proposal to acquire Barnes & Noble Inc.

Liberty Media says it has proposed to acquire the bookseller at a price of $17 per share in cash. The proposal by Liberty Media contemplates that the acquisition would be in the form of a merger, with Liberty’s equity ownership expected to be about 70% of Barnes & Noble.

According to a Liberty press release, the company’s cash contribution towards the purchase price is expected to be in the range of $500 million.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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