Parts Of Obama Jobs Package Coming Into Focus

President Barack Obama is finalizing a jobs package that could include a program to refurbish school buildings nationwide and tax breaks to encourage firms to hire workers.

The package, to be unveiled in early September, is Obama's chance to convince skeptical voters he can bring down the 9.1 percent unemployment rate and steer the United States away from another recession - ahead of next year's election.

Critics say the president, who bailed out the auto industry and spent $860 billion to revive the economy after he took office in 2009, has few jobs-boosting options and will have a hard time getting Republicans to accept any new spending plan.

But economists and advisers familiar with his strategy say Obama will argue next month that the financial crisis was worse than anyone thought at the time and say more stimulus is needed to make any real dent in the unemployment rate.

The details are still being discussed during the president's annual vacation in Martha's Vineyard, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

But the broad contours of the jobs package are quickly coming into focus.

The president is widely expected to repeat his calls for an extension of a payroll tax cut, push for patent reform and bilateral free trade deals, and suggest an infrastructure bank to upgrade the country's roads, airports and other facilities.

Retrofitting schools with energy efficient technology would allow the government to directly hire for labor-intensive work and also give a boost to the clean energy sector that Obama has said could be an important U.S. economic motor.

Other measures being considered, according to economists who have advised the White House, include tax credits for firms hiring more workers, funds for local governments to hire teachers, and retraining help for the long-term unemployed. Steps to boost the ailing housing market are also under review.

"What's going to be included in this plan are some reasonable ideas that could have a tangible impact on improving our economy and creating jobs ... the kinds of things that Republicans should be able to support," Earnest said. "These are bipartisan ideas that the president is going to offer up."

Foot on accelerator
Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, are broadly opposed to any big new spending and have argued Obama's previous stimulus spending stretched budget deficits and added to the national debt without making a dent in employment.

But with unemployment stuck above 9 percent, and with the economy expected to continue to grow at an anemic rate for two years or more, the White House believes it needs to give the labor market another leg up.

A senior administration official said Obama would focus next month's economics speech on jobs. He will save a plan for long-term deficit-cutting for later.

Jared Bernstein, a former economic adviser to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, said spending measures from the jobs package must be able to take hold before deficit cuts kick in.

Otherwise, he said, it would be "like putting on the accelerator and the brake at the same time."

Keeping with the car analogy, Bernstein said extending the payroll tax cut "doesn't press any harder on the accelerator but doesn't take your foot off accelerator."

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former aide to President George W. Bush and adviser to Obama's 2008 rival Senator John McCain, said Republicans would not accept "Keynesian" spending but may be open to tax reforms that promote healthier long-term growth.

"He should emphasize that growth is the top priority," Holtz-Eakin said of Obama's address, which is expected to coincide closely with a September 6 jobs speech by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

'House on fire'
One of Obama's major tasks with his upcoming speech is to make the case that without the economic rescue measures he already put through, things would be worse.

Michael Greenstone, an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former Obama economic adviser, estimated that because millions of jobs were lost in the downturn, even a normally healthy rate of job creation would take at least 12 years to get the United States back to pre-recession employment levels.

"I know it's not popular to say this, but when the Obama administration came into office the house was really on fire, and it turns out that it was a bigger fire that people realized, even at the time," Greenstone said.

Obama may struggle to convince voters the new measures can help hiring. Though the White House contends the auto bailout and other steps saved jobs that would have otherwise been lost, many Americans are losing faith in Obama's economic abilities. That is reflected in his approval ratings, which have fallen to around 43 percent, the lowest level of his presidency.

Alice Rivlin, a former Clinton economic official and Federal Reserve vice chairwoman, said new policies would have to be designed in a way that ensures money is spent quickly and people are hired directly for them to be effective.

"They are all good ideas. My cautionary note is they are all quite difficult to do well," Rivlin said.


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  • by Once more Location: enc on Aug 31, 2011 at 07:30 PM
    Once more, Obama has chosen what is best for the country and instead of getting some childish fight with the GOP, he will speak on Thurs. We missed the opportunity to ask the GOP candidates what they think of Obama's plan until they have a chance to "check" with their advisors. I'm sure they are relieved. Meanwhile, Boehner and the GOP have shown disrespect never seen in this country for the POTUS! There was time for both the speech and the debate!
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Sep 1, 2011 at 12:48 PM in reply to Once more
      Don't worry about that respect thing, I hear you earn it before you get it. With the poor leadership he has shown, money he spent needlessly and his economy failure with jobs and Wallstreet...don't worry, he won't be back.
  • by First time Location: enc on Aug 31, 2011 at 03:14 PM
    For the first time in history, the Speaker of the House is asking the President of the US to NOT give a speech to congress! Boehner is tell Obama to change his plans to give his jobs speech! This has NEVER happened before! The GOP is actually keeping the POTUS from speaking to Congress! This is nothing but shameful and ridiculous!!! The GOP will pay for this!
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Sep 1, 2011 at 12:46 PM in reply to First time
      Isn't it great? Never has an idiot tried to hold a speech during the kick off game of the NFL and during a well planned GOP debate. You think if its so important, move it up a day. You feelin it?
  • by Anonymous on Aug 30, 2011 at 12:33 PM
    > The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas. > Incredibly, 60 percent of all the students attending California public schools now qualify for free or reduced-price school lunches. >The number of people on food stamps in the state of North Carolina has almost doubled over the past four years.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Aug 31, 2011 at 03:52 PM in reply to
      Well, he never said what hope and change was all about! I guess he should have clarified it further.
  • by Workers Location: enc on Aug 30, 2011 at 09:12 AM
    It probably means nothing to the TP, but for the first time, Republicans are barred from the Labor Day parade in Wisconsin. They have done so much against the workers there, they were officially excluded from marching.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 30, 2011 at 05:52 PM in reply to Workers
      People actually threatened to throw "rotten tomatoes" at the GOPers if they attend. I guess Scott Walker will be at home hiding, he knows its just a matter of time for him.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil co on Aug 31, 2011 at 03:59 PM in reply to Workers
      Well, the worthless loser Labor union thugs would pay a 2 thousand dollar fine! They chose to let them protest or march with them. Instead of rotten tomatoes, the GOPrs are taking 44 magnums and shotguns. They plan to shoot the tomatoes out of the air. Wow, that would be cool!
      • reply
        by To osoc on Aug 31, 2011 at 07:21 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil co
        I thought you TPs claimed you never talked about shooting and actual violence! Again, the severe talk about doing harm comes from the right.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Aug 30, 2011 at 08:29 AM
    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 21% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-three percent (43%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -22
    • reply
      by To OSOC on Aug 30, 2011 at 09:13 AM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
      Why don't you publish the polls on the TP? Or on Boehner? You are ridiculous!
      • reply
        by Obama Snake Oil co on Aug 31, 2011 at 03:51 PM in reply to To OSOC
        Because its not important...Parts Of Obama Jobs Package Coming Into Focus, that was the headline. Are you from Kenya too? I just see your post makes as much sense as what the president does. But their is not poll on that either.
  • by I Fought the Law on Aug 30, 2011 at 03:45 AM
    His "jobs package" is the same old song and dance that will not generate any viable revenue. It's all pretty much tax based jobs and that won't work. When this country gets hungry enough maybe we can convince all the companies that have shipped our jobs overseas to return those jobs at reduced wages that will allow them to still remain competitive in the global market, we'll see the economy start to rebound. Until then we'll continue to crumble like half baked clay.
    • reply
      by Party of Idiots on Aug 30, 2011 at 05:43 PM in reply to I Fought the Law
      Just watch how the GOP/Tea criticize it, with no plan of their own. Oh, the Bush Tax Cuts...how many years now??? and we are still waiting for it to create 1 job.
      • reply
        by To POI on Aug 31, 2011 at 03:54 PM in reply to Party of Idiots
        Worse than that, they are trying to stop him from even telling the country what it is!!! With no plan of their own and people needing jobs so badly, they are trying to postpone his speech. Tell me what could possibly be more important than a jobs plan?
      • reply
        by rosie on Aug 31, 2011 at 04:54 PM in reply to Party of Idiots
        Obama has done nothing but hurt the job market. won't let jobs in NC unless union also won't let ATT bring jobs back from overseas when they buy out TMobile. Atorney Gen says no merger. Loss of thousands of jobs
        • reply
          by To rosie on Aug 31, 2011 at 07:23 PM in reply to rosie
          Obama is not the Attorney General!
        • reply
          by To rosie on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:45 PM in reply to rosie
          Mergers and acquisitions do NOT create jobs, they eliminate them. How many will lose their jobs with TMobile before ATT acquires them? ATT employs over 170,000-5,000 is nothing! They closed and entire factory and moved overseas costing 2000 jobs at once and you think we should trust them? Another thing, with T-Mobile gone-less competition- their rates will go up! This is much more complicated than you make it!
  • by Wolfgang Location: Chocowinity,NC on Aug 26, 2011 at 08:01 PM
    What happened to Obama's old Job Stimulas Plan? That cost us Billions of $$$$$$ dollars , and no one got a job 15% of blacks are unemployed. When he had a Democratic Liberal Congress? Now we need a new one. LOL. Where is our Golfer N Chief? Looks like Obama never ended G W Bush's Wars. Close Gitmo the lies go on and on and on
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Aug 29, 2011 at 06:43 PM in reply to Wolfgang
      Ask Rick Perry what happened to the Stimulus money he got from Obama, that he said never created ONE JOB. http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/01/stimulus-hating-gov-rick-perry-used-stimulus-to-balance-texas-budget/21369/
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Aug 30, 2011 at 05:35 PM in reply to
        Wow, looks like old Slick (used car salesman) Rick lied about the stimulus.
    • reply
      by rosie on Aug 31, 2011 at 04:57 PM in reply to Wolfgang
      Where did that money go? Talk about thugs. Lies,Lies and more lies.
    • reply
      by To Wolfgang on Aug 31, 2011 at 11:48 PM in reply to Wolfgang
      There have been 17 mos. of jobs being added since Obama took office. He saved the auto industry and all jobs that affects. July has produced the largest demand for US autos in 3 years! Of course, some-like Perry-took the stimulus money and applied it to their deficits instead of creating jobs!
  • by Anonymous on Aug 26, 2011 at 07:11 PM
    House Republicans have pulled a bait and switch on the American electorate. They ran a campaign based on job creation, but once elected set out to implement a corporatist and socially conservative agenda. This is no different than the bait and switch that Rick Snyder and Scott Walker pulled on voters in Wisconsin and Michigan. How many Americans would have voted Republican in 2010 if they knew on Election Day that the GOP agenda was not to create jobs, so that they could possibly defeat Obama in 2012? The truth is that House Republicans have no interest in creating jobs, because a prosperous economy would mean the reelection of Barack Obama. For this reason alone, it is a safe bet that the number of bills that House Republicans will introduce to create jobs between now and November 2012 will remain at zero.
    • reply
      by rosie on Aug 31, 2011 at 05:00 PM in reply to
      Held back by Senate at every turn.
  • by Party of Jerks on Aug 26, 2011 at 07:04 PM
    The House GOP has also vote AGAINST Democratically proposed job creation bills including: (1)An American jobs effort to end government contracts rewarding corporations that ship American jobs overseas. [Vote 19](2) Build America Bonds to Create Jobs Now Act – leveraging public dollars to strengthen the private sector, growing our economy by rebuilding America’s schools, hospitals, and transit projects, supported by American businesses, the construction industry, mayors and governors. [Vote 38, Vote 30, Vote 189] (3) American Jobs Matter Act – to give preference in federal contracts to U.S. manufacturers that create jobs here at home. [Vote 257] (4) National Manufacturing Strategy Act, which calls on the President to lay out a plan to help ensure American manufacturers can compete, grow, and thrive. [Vote 279] (5) Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing Technology Act to help ensure the cars of the future are built here in the U.S., by investing in a broad range of near-term and long-term vehicle technologies to improve fuel efficiency, support domestic research and manufacturing, and lead to greater consumer choice of vehicle technologies and fuels. [Vote 310](6) Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to provide our government with effective tools to address unfair currency manipulation by countries like China, which could help create 1 million American manufacturing jobs by leveling the international playing field for American workers and businesses. [Vote 9, Vote 199]
  • by Party of Jerks on Aug 26, 2011 at 06:59 PM
    It has been 202 days since Republicans took back control of the House and promised to create jobs. During this time they have passed legislation that killed 1.9 million jobs and created ZER0. Before you get the wrong idea, the GOP has passed legislation since they have taken control of the House. Here is a partial list of House Republican accomplishments: (1) Voted to repeal health care reform on behalf of the health insurance industry; (2) For big polluters, Republicans passed a bill to undermine our ability to provide a healthier environment for our children, eliminating every tool EPA has to address serious public health threats from carbon pollution, including increased childhood asthma;(3) Voted to protect taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil and speculators driving up gasoline prices, and against gasoline anti-price gouging legislation for consumers; Voted to provide more tax cuts for millionaires, and protect tax breaks for corporations shipping jobs overseas;(4) Voted to strengthen the role of special interests in our elections (by ending the Presidential Election fund that promotes small campaign donations) and against disclosure of foreign countries, companies, or individuals donating to presidential campaigns;(5) Voted to cripple public radio stations, particularly in rural areas, while not saving taxpayers one dime; (6) Voted to cut off key federal funding for Planned Parenthood — devastating the primary source of health care, especially preventive services like contraception, cancer screenings, breast exams, and HIV testing, for millions of women across the country; and (7) Voted for an unprecedented, radical assault on women’s health care – for the first time restricting how women with private insurance can spend private dollars in purchasing health insurance.
    • reply
      by Obama Snake Oil Co on Aug 29, 2011 at 08:17 AM in reply to Party of Jerks
      Right off of progressive news daily? Hmmm, you actually believed all that? Everything you posted never mentioned the terd attached to it. Of course, libterdial spin. Well, it won't matter, its anybody but Obama now. He has been a dismal failure as a leader and placed a huge debt on our children. Obviously, you are proud of that, I am ashamed for anyone that voted for the guy. Obviously, your blither confirms who you voted for blindly.
      • reply
        by Pam on Aug 29, 2011 at 06:38 PM in reply to Obama Snake Oil Co
        Where are all the Jobs Bills your Republicans buddies were to provide, especially after they insisted on the Bush tax cuts. Well we are waiting......Zap, Zero, Not One.
        • reply
          by Obama Snake Oil Co on Aug 30, 2011 at 08:26 AM in reply to Pam
          Yeah, well, we saw how Obama created jobs by spending a trillion in debt and for 9.2% unemployment. Democrats had both houses for the last 4 years and did more damage than even Obama could do. Our only hope now is to have republicans control the massive spending damage. Until that has happened, how is that hope and change going fer ya?
        • reply
          by bait and switch on Aug 30, 2011 at 05:40 PM in reply to Pam
          Osoc still did not answer your question about the jobs. Have you noticed the Republican will never give you a straight answer? Just watch how Bachmann never give an answer to the question asked, but always refer back to talking points, and she wants to be President???
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