Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Jobs Proposal .......interesting stuff here......

This is unusually long for my blog (I zone out on very long blog posts but this held my attention and I learned a lot), but PLEASE take a few minutes and read it.  And please send it to email friends if you agree with me;  I think it's important more and more Americans are informed of these facts:
Memo On The President's Jobs Proposal

TO: House Republicans
FR: Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Whip McCarthy, and Chairman Hensarling
DT: September 16, 2011
RE: The President’s Jobs Proposal

In August, we released our fall legislative agenda focused on implementing two key aspects of our jobs agenda, the GOP Plan for America's Job Creators: regulatory and tax relief for America’s small businesses, entrepreneurs and employers. This week, we completed action on the first of those items: blocking the federal government's National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from unilaterally telling businesses in what states they can and cannot open up for business. Also, this week the President sent Congress his proposed jobs bill. Having had a few days to review his proposal, we wanted to take this opportunity and provide you with some initial reaction.
Last week, prior to his address to a Joint Session of Congress, we wrote to President Obama to discuss potential ways forward on job creation. In addition to highlighting the numerous pro-growth jobs bills passed by the House and awaiting action by the Democrat-controlled Senate, we told the President: “While it is important that we continue to debate and discuss our different approaches to job creation, it is also critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement.” We stressed that “[w]e shouldn’t approach this as an all or nothing situation.”

We were hopeful that the President was interested in finding common ground as well. However, the White House and the President’s campaign demanded that the bill pass in its entirety. David Axelrod, the President’s top campaign advisor, told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ that “We are not in negotiation to break up the package. And it’s not an a la carte menu.” Meanwhile, the White House Communications Director, Dan Pfeiffer, said, “The president said it 16 times, I’ll say it a 17th time today. He wants them to pass the American Jobs Act. That’s the piece of legislation he’s sending up.”

For the sake of 14 million Americans who are currently unemployed and the more than 4 million who have been unemployed for more than a year, we are pleased that the White House has begun to back away from that extreme. It is far more important that the focus be on delivering results for the American people rather than on the upcoming campaign. As the President himself said, “The next election is 14 months away. And the people who sent us here -- the people who hired us to work for them -- they don’t have the luxury of waiting 14 months.”

We believe there are areas of common agreement, and areas worthy of further conversation where agreement -- assuming there are good faith discussions -- may be possible.

Areas of potential common agreement and areas worthy of further discussion include:
  • Extension of 100 Percent Bonus Depreciation: The President has proposed extending through 2012 the ability of businesses to expense 100% of the cost of certain property they place in service. Bonus depreciation, which has historically been a bipartisan proposal, makes it easier for businesses to invest now in new machinery and equipment.
  • Addressing the Pending Application of Withholding on Government Contractors: Under current law as of January 1, 2013, businesses that provide goods or services to federal, state, or local governments will have 3% of their payments for such goods or services withheld. The President has proposed delaying this requirement until December 31, 2013. In the House Republican Fall Jobs Agenda, we proposed repealing this onerous withholding requirement.
  • Small Business Capital Formation: The White House fact sheet accompanying the President’s speech includes a proposal to “reduce the regulatory burdens on small business capital formation in ways that are consistent with investor protection, including expanding ‘crowdfunding’ opportunities and increasing mini-offerings.” While the legislative proposal transmitted by the President failed to include any language to advance these goals, the House Financial Services Committee is in the process of considering legislation that (1) increases the threshold at which small companies are subject to full SEC regulation (the current threshold is nearly twenty years old); (2) increase the number of shareholders a company can have before triggering SEC registration; (3) remove the SEC restrictions on "crowdfunding" so businesses can use marketing, such as social networks, to raise capital from a large pool of small investors who may or may not be SEC accredited; and (4) remove SEC restrictions so businesses can use marketing to seek unlimited amounts of capital from SEC accredited investors.
  • Incentives for Hiring Veterans: Current law includes employer tax credits for hiring disabled veterans (up to $4,800) and unemployed veterans (up to $2,400). These tax credits will expire at the end of 2011. The President has proposed expanding these credits. The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee is considering a more comprehensive effort to assist returning heroes, examining the range of challenges they face entering the workforce, including the need for education and training assistance and to address other barriers to employment. We believe there is an opportunity to make meaningful and significant progress in this area.
  • Unemployment Insurance System Reforms: The President has proposed a number of reforms to the Unemployment Insurance (UI) system, including “bridge to work” programs that allow the unemployed to pursue work-based training and enhanced reemployment assistance programs to target those most likely to be unemployed for an extended period of time. House Republicans recommended some of these very ideas to the President at the end of 2009. While the President links these reforms to a blanket extension of extended (up to 99 weeks) UI benefits and new federal spending, there is no reason we cannot move forward on these areas of agreement.
  • Free Trade Agreements: The President stated in his speech that, “Now it’s time to clear the way for a series of trade agreements that would make it easier for American companies to sell their products in Panama and Colombia and South Korea…” He also characterized this as a step that, “will require congressional action.” We agree. We will take action. But first, we need the President to take action and send us the agreements for our approval. We have repeatedly called on the President to unlock these agreements and clear the way for the creation of hundreds of thousands of new American jobs, while ensuring that we do not lose any more ground in our global competitiveness. In fact, last week we passed a bipartisan measure to extend the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). We hope this action, and pending action in the Senate, will allow us to move forward on all three agreements.
  • Infrastructure Funding: The President has proposed $50 billion in “immediate” surface transportation funding and the creation of a new $10 billion national infrastructure bank. While spending to repair and improve infrastructure can play an important part in both short- and long-term economic growth, adding more money to the same broken system is more likely to produce waste and inefficiency than meaningful results. There are more than 100 federal surface transportation programs, many of which are duplicative or do not serve a federal purpose. Before spending new money, for example, we could act to end the mandatory set aside that diverts 10% of current surface transportation funds from roads and bridges to transportation museums and other “enhancements.” And the money we do spend ought to get to the job site faster. For example, of the highway funds provided over two and half years ago under the President’s stimulus bill, over 18% is still unexpended. In part, this is because of an overly complicated and bureaucratic approval process that everyone agrees ought to be fixed. Rather than adding more money to a broken system, Congress and the President should spend the next few months working out a multi-year transportation authorization bill that fixes these problems.
  • Payroll Tax Relief: The President has proposed an extension and a significant expansion of the current payroll tax holiday. The President would more than double the amount of the holiday (up from $110 billion this year to $240 billion in 2012, including an expansion of this proposal to some of the employers’ share of these taxes), and would sunset the entire payroll tax holiday effective January 1, 2013. So while employees would see an additional temporary benefit from this proposal in 2012 (the President would modestly expand the current payroll holiday), they would experience a larger effective tax increase 12 months later when the payroll tax reverted back to its full level. There may be significant unforeseen downsides to large temporary tax cuts immediately followed by large tax increases. Compounding this negative effect is the scheduled increase in all individual tax rates, capital gain and dividend rates, and the elimination/reduction of various individual credits and deductions. In short, we are creating significant new uncertainty in an already uncertain economy. Moreover, the proposal increases general fund transfers to Social Security, something that needs to be carefully considered given the long-term challenges facing that program and the implications of those challenges for taxpayers. Finally, the President proposes to pay for this one-year expanded tax holiday by permanently limiting the ability of those earning more than $200,000 a year to take full advantage of their itemized deductions, including their charitable deductions. With over 40% of charitable deductions being claimed by those impacted by this proposed policy, the practical effect is a tax on and a reduction in charitable giving. This will negatively impact thousands of churches and non-profits. House Republicans are supportive of tax relief for working families and small businesses, but the temporary relief proposed by the President must not cause unforeseen harm to the economy 15 months from now and it shouldn’t be offset with permanent tax increases; and it shouldn’t come at the expense of the nation’s charities. That said, a commitment to honest and fruitful discussions between the White House and Congressional Leaders could lead to potential bipartisan agreement on a plan that avoids these downsides and provides tax relief for the middle class that encourages short- and long-term economic growth and job creation.

    There are also some aspects of the President’s proposal where it will be harder to find common ground. In addition to his proposed tax increases, we do not agree with the policies proposed by the President that are a repeat or continuation of spending from his 2009 stimulus bill. For example, the President has proposed:
  • Payments to State and Local Governments: The 2009 stimulus bill included $53.6 billion in state stabilization funds under the guise of preventing the layoff of teachers, law enforcement officers, and other municipal employees. This band-aid approach masked over the true fiscal problems facing states and local governments. Some jurisdictions used the funds to provide one-time raises; others retained employees for a short-period of time, only to lay them off later. The President is proposing more of the same with an additional $30 billion in spending.
  • Federal School Construction: School construction has historically been a state and local function. In his 2009 stimulus proposal, President Obama proposed approximately $20 billion for school construction, but the Democrat-controlled Senate rejected the proposed funding.
  • Neighborhood Stabilization Grants: The President has proposed a $15 billion initiative to rehabilitate and refurbish homes. This proposal is strikingly similar to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program which has already received $7 billion in funding. There have been allegations of misuse of funds and little evidence that the program delivered the promised results. Five Democrats actually joined with House Republicans in voting to terminate the program earlier this year.
  • Tax Increases: As the President himself has said, “…you don’t raise taxes in a recession.” With respect to the tax increases the President has proposed to pay for this package, many in his party seem to agree.

    Consider these quotes from just one news story this week:

    “Terrible,” Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the president’s ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. “We shouldn’t increase taxes on ordinary income. … There are other ways to get there.”

    “That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that,” said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obama’s elimination of oil and gas subsidies. “Maybe it’s just for his election, which I hope isn’t the case.”

    “If we’re going to change something, we got to be sure that we do it in the total [tax reform] package, that they know what the rules of the road are,” said Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).

    Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was “frustrating” to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional [Joint Select Committee] in last week’s address to Congress to find savings. “When you start singling out certain industries, there’s an unfairness to it,” he said in an interview. “On the pay-fors, I have a problem.”
  • Tax Deductions and Exclusions: The President’s largest proposed tax increase is, as he describes it, on “the wealthiest Americans.” Perhaps it would more aptly be described as a tax increase on charitable contributions, mortgage interest deductions, and municipal bonds for states, etc. The President proposes to limit the value of certain deductions and exclusions for those with income above $200,000 ($250,000 for a couple). All but three Senators opposed an even more limited version this proposal when it was voted on in 2009, hardly the type of bipartisan agreement the President has claimed is his goal. It is understandable why this proposal is so vehemently rejected by the American people. Consider the impact of this proposal just on charities: more than 40% of all tax deductible charitable contributions are made by families impacted by this tax increase. Raising taxes on charitable contributions will mean smaller contributions and fewer resources for churches, food banks, universities, and other non-profits. During a week when it was reported that an astounding one in six Americans are living in poverty, why would anyone want to essentially penalize soup kitchens, hospitals, and churches that provide essential services to those hurting the most? Finally, this tax increase is the linchpin of a nearly half-trillion dollar permanent tax increase to offset another round of temporary stimulus spending and other tax changes. We actually changed the Rules of the House this year to prevent the use of tax increases to pay for more spending, a standard this proposal would violate.

    Making Progress
    We don’t question the President’s sincerity when he says he has crafted the right prescription for economic recovery. We believe good people can have honest disagreements without having their morals or commitment to country being called into question. To be clear, we don’t agree with portions of President Obama’s proposal, and Republicans have a different vision for the steps that need to be taken to help our economy get back to creating jobs. We are, however, committed to passing legislation to implement the policies in the areas where agreement can be found to support job creation and long-term economic growth. Over the past several days, many of you have approached us with ideas for legislation that meets these goals. We will be working with you and our committees in the coming days and weeks to schedule as many of these items as possible for consideration. It is our hope that Majority Leader Reid, the Democratic Majority in the Senate and President Obama will realize that while an all or nothing approach might make sense to some political advisors and communicators, it comes at the expense of making progress for millions of unemployed Americans -- and that is a tradeoff none of us should make.
Z:  This morning, again, I heard either Obama or Carney (or both) talk about how the Right can't come up with jobs ideas;  Please, America........don't listen to the lies.


    Ticker said...

    Of course the WH is going to say that the Right can't come up with a plan, it's election time. They will insure that the LSM doesn't report on any plan presented by the Right but certainly focus on the NOPLAN of the WH.

    Deferring the payroll tax only hurts SS but then the Dems know that and will use it a year from now to claim that it was the Right who took funds from SS and wouldn't allow the President to tax the rich or cut their deductions for charity.Of course charity will not be mentioned only stopped cuts in deductions giving the rich another loophole while the poor suffer. BS.

    But then we know that but the uninformed, ignorant masses don't.

    Oh and Bonehead will sell his soul to get reelected so don't put a lot of stock in what he says.

    Speedy G said...

    Here's a plan for the Democrats to consider...

    "STOP trying to pick economic winners and losers!"

    Green energy isn't going to WIN an economic race with BLACK (carbon) energy, EVER!

    Speedy G said...

    ...so STOP hamstringing carbon energy sources and gtf OUT of their way!

    A recovery with MILLIONS of high paying jobs will ALL flow from cheap energy in the USA, just as in the past, IT ALWAYS HAS!

    Speedy G said...

    The "industrial revolution" didn't materialize out of a cheap availability of MANPOWER. It came out of a cheap availability of CARBON FUELS.

    Leticia said...

    In a nutshell, the Republicans have a workable plan to get this nation back on track.

    The Dems just want to spend money, with no workable plan.

    Mark said...

    Boehner is too nice. He needs to go for Obama's throat and keep a firm hold on it until after next years elections.

    In fact, he needs to introduce impeachment proceedings.

    Obama is a Marxist intent on destroying America and the Constitution. He needs to be granted no quarter.

    Lisa said...

    David Axelrod, the President’s top campaign advisor, told ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ that “We are not in negotiation to break up the package. And it’s not an a la carte menu.

    Oh so what this righteous SOB is saying is pretty much typical of this administration.
    No compromising and it's our way or the highway.
    I agree with Mark the republicans had better grow a pair.

    Ticker said...

    Mark, Bonehead will do nothing except the minimum so he can say to his voters, Well I tried. Voters need to tell this jackass that Tried ain't good enough and put him in the unemployment line with Obama.

    Speedy G said...

    Here's an economic stimulus plan from Lazar Carnot (1784)

    `How rare it is that the wise man is able to obtain the fruits of his labor! He is ahead of his century, and his language can only be heard by posterity, but that is enough to sustain him.... He is a friend of those yet to be born; he converses with them in his profound reflections. As a citizen, he watches over the fatherland, he takes part in its triumphs; as a philosopher, he has already overcome the barriers which separate empires; he is the citizen of every land, contemporary of all ages; he follows man from his fragile origin to the final perfection of his being. From the moment when, weak and alone, he is the plaything of all that surrounds him, up to the times when, reunited with all his fellow men in a unanimous concert of all the means allocated to his species, he commands the universe as a master: What an immense gap between these two extremities! ... When, through those very convulsions, man has come to know the sum of his capabilities, the immense scope of his power.... Then, I say, will anything remain impossible for him? Ah! If in spite of the dissipation and difficulty of his individual efforts, he has learned to master thunder, to force gravity itself to reach the regions of the thunderbolt....
    ``What will he not do, when he brings together so many forces antagonized and broken by innumerable shocks, when private interest will have become general interest and virtue, the enlightened desire for happiness? Then the elements will be tamed, man will be respected by the entirety of nature; he will penetrate into the sanctuary of its laws; he will know its interconnections and causality.'

    How rare, indeed!

    beamish said...

    Rick Perry should come clean on how Obama's stimulus worked in Texas and no where else ;)


    Bd said...

    Oh, NOW the GOP speaks up on a jobs bill after remaining silent since the took the House in 2010. Too bad Cantor is still a shill for the corporate right. Funny how he slammed the Stimulus then took millions for his state.

    Bob said...

    Bd opines: "Oh, NOW the GOP speaks up on a jobs bill after remaining silent since the took the House in 2010. Too bad Cantor is still a shill for the corporate right. "

    It is a function of selective listening, and a disconnect in thinking for Bd to voice the opinion above. Republican legislators have presented deal after deal to our empty suit President, who apparently cannot shake the 19th century mentality the Democrat Party has bought into.

    The is nothing inherently wrong with corporations, except that Obama rewards certain corporations that give him support. This is corruption, and it is indicative of the institutionalization of corruption in the Democrat Party.

    Pris said...

    This is all to get Obama through 2012, and hoping to blame Republicans for not signing on.

    Obama doesn't want the private sector to prevail so, he target's who get's the money, and picks winners and losers, proving once again, government can't create jobs.

    Government can only create the environment to free up the private sector, which is against every Socialist or Marxist agenda.

    Obama is between a rock and a hard place which is where he belongs. He earned it!

    This is the same old tactic he's used before, which didn't work, because it can't.

    Z said...

    Bd, will you ever learn? THEY HAVE BEEN TALKING ABOUT JOBS FOR A LONG, LONG TIME. Do you really only get your news from Obama-loving venues? WHY? THINK, for goodness sake!!

    Average American said...

    As long as the United States Federal Government buys ANYTHING from foreign countries that is available here, I will not believe that they are truly interested in creating jobs for Americans. My guess is that for every $1,000,000 spent overseas, we create between 10 and 20 jobs---THERE, not HERE! That's 10 to 20 families that could be paying taxes--HERE. That's 10 to 20 families that could come off of government programs--HERE.

    Since no one else is talking about this, I am left to assume that I must be the smartest person in the country. Maybe I should be President. What a scary thought.

    Z said...

    but, AVer. American...Americans want their stuff CHEAP and it's not going to happen much if MADE IN AMERICA anymore. I suppose the unions took care of that? I've thought about this a lot and don't really have a grasp on that truth yet.

    Americans won't start going to the lovely smaller shops to buy things if those things cost more and are nicer made and prettier or better in some other way when they can get junk from China which fits their bill. This point really grieves me...........but, we're BROKE, China produces cheaper even WITH the freight costs to get it here......and now what??