Obama Job Plan Speech To Face Scrutiny
USC teaching assistant professor William Troost said Obama will propose both large and small initiatives aimed at stimulating hiring. Troost said Obama will place the greatest emphasis on the need for an infrastructure bank or at least greater funding for infrastructure.
The president has touted this idea in the past, so this might be his preferred method of stimulus. Moreover, the policy of long-term unemployment benefits might be extended since it has been in place for several years and has continued to be passed.
Lastly, his speech will likely cover a proposal to extend the payroll tax cut. The White House recently implemented a 1 percent reduction in payroll taxes.
“The idea behind this cut is that it will place more money in the hands of workers,” Troost said. “This will encourage hiring, as workers will be willing to accept lower gross wages as their take home pay has increased. In recent weeks, (Obama) has been very vocal in advocating for an extension. I think he will utilize his platform during the speech to push for its extension.”
As for tax reform advocacy, Obama might discuss closing tax loopholes, raising taxes for the wealthy, allowing former President George W. Bush’s tax cuts on the wealthy to expire and lowering marginal rates on the middle class.
Troost points out that chief among these would be a lowering and simplification of the corporate tax rate.
But some people desire a faster course of action.
“I want to know what will be done immediately to create jobs in the next week, not the coming months,” a man wrote on Obama’s re-election blog.
Some say the president’s speech might not have a great impact on public morale in reference to the economy.
Newsweek magazine special correspondent Michael Tomasky wrote in an article, “It’s not only getting to the point where it’s getting hard to see him winning re-election. It’s getting to the point where it’s hard to imagine people taking him seriously for the remaining 14 months of his current term.”
Regarding Obama’s limitation on the policies he could pass due to the opposition party, Troost feels the stagnant economy has eroded confidence and faith that politicians can lead us out of our current despair.
“I would like to hear that the president intends to stand up to the republicans, no more Mr. Nice Guy,” a woman wrote on the re-election blog.
Perhaps it’s time to reevaluate our current economic course and the policies we have in place.
Our country has fallen behind in many ways and is not as globally competitive as it once was, Troost said.
“While we often pride ourselves on being the best country on earth, there is much we can learn from other countries and the policies that they are employing,” he said. “Even with a divided government, if we can be candid and look at ways we can better compete, there is much we can do to improve our country and economy.”
Reach staff reporter Shako Liu here.
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