In his much-anticipated address to a joint session of Congress, President Barack Obama plead for another $447 billion in government spending and tax incentives to spark economic recovery for the stalled U.S. economy.
The President, blaming Congress’ quarreling over previous efforts to stimulate the economy for the current state of affairs, prodded Congress to pass his jobs bill “right away.”
“I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans — including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything,” Obama said.
The Presidential plan is centered on essential “renovation” of infrastructure in the U.S., including roads, bridges, urban recreation centers and at least 35,000 schools, he said. He promised that the jobs bill would not only employ people seeking construction and infrastructure jobs but also teachers. He also said the bill provides tax incentives for companies to hire veterans and individuals who have been out of work for more than six months.
“This is the American Jobs Act. It will lead to new jobs for construction workers, for teachers, for veterans, for first responders, young people and the long-term unemployed. It will provide tax credits to companies that hire new workers, tax relief to small business owners, and tax cuts for the middle class,” the President said.
To sweeten the deal for Republicans, the President promised to extend tax cuts and to ensure that taxes are not raised; he also promised that the jobs bill will not add to the country’s soaring deficit.
“The agreement we passed in July will cut government spending by about $1 trillion over the next 10 years. It also charges this Congress to come up with an additional $1.5 trillion in savings by Christmas. Tonight, I am asking you to increase that amount so that it covers the full cost of the American Jobs Act. And a week from Monday, I’ll be releasing a more ambitious deficit plan — a plan that will not only cover the cost of this jobs bill, but stabilize our debt in the long run,” Obama said.
In his speech, the President continued his “corporate jet owner” ideology as a way to help pay for the jobs act.
“I’m also well aware that there are many Republicans who don’t believe we should raise taxes on those who are most fortunate and can best afford it,” said Obama. “But here is what every American knows: While most people in this country struggle to make ends meet, a few of the most affluent citizens and most profitable corporations enjoy tax breaks and loopholes that nobody else gets.”
The President proclaimed that his plan was not political grandstanding or class warfare, but simple math — simple math that he is certain produces the right equation for America’s future.
Many Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, found common ground with the President, with little skepticism.
“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration. We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well. It’s my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation,” he said.
Some Republicans, including 2012 GOP candidate Representative Ron Paul of Texas, skipped the speech altogether, opting instead to read the text of the plan.