Saturday, September 10, 2011

American Job Act Summary

Susan Brannon
10 September 2011

President Obama put on the table before congress the American Jobs Act.  The act has won the approval of both Republicans and Democrats, but has not passed for voting yet.  Below is a quick summary of the administration says that the Act will provide to the American people.  

 * First, it provides a tax cut for small businesses, not big corporations, to help them hire and expand now and provides an additional tax cut to any business that increases wages.
    * Second, it puts people back to work, including teachers, first responders and veterans coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, and construction workers repairing crumbling bridges, roads and more than 35,000 public schools, with projects chosen by need and impact, not earmarks and politics.
    * Third, it helps out-of-work Americans by extending unemployment benefits to help them support their families while looking for work and reforming the system with training programs that build real skills, connect to real jobs and help the long-term unemployed.
    * Fourth, it puts more money in the pockets of working and middle class Americans by cutting in half the payroll tax that comes out of every worker's paycheck, saving families an average of $1,500 a year. And it removes the barriers that exist in the current federal refinancing program (HARP) to help more Americans refinance their mortgages at historically low rates, save money and stay in their homes.

How do they plan to do this?:

• Cutting the payroll tax cut in half for 98 percent of businesses: The President’s plan will cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll, targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold.
• A complete payroll tax holiday for added workers or increased wages: The President’s plan will
completely eliminate payroll taxes for firms that increase their payroll by adding new workers or
increasing the wages of their current worker (the benefit is capped at the first $50 million in
payroll increases).
• Extending 100% expensing into 2012: This continues an effective incentive for new investment.
• Reforms and regulatory reductions to help entrepreneurs and small businesses access capital.
• A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit for veterans: This provides tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.
• Preventing up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
• Modernizing at least 35,000 public schools across the country, supporting new science labs, Internet-ready classrooms and renovations at schools across the country, in rural and urban areas.
• Immediate investments in infrastructure and a bipartisan National Infrastructure Bank,
modernizing our roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers
back on the job.
• A New “Project Rebuild”, which will put people to work rehabilitating homes, businesses and
communities, leveraging private capital and scaling land banks and other public-private
• Expanding access to high-speed wireless as part of a plan for freeing up the nation’s spectrum.
• The most innovative reform to the unemployment insurance program in 40 years: As part of an extension of unemployment insurance to prevent 5 million Americans looking for work from losing their benefits, the President’s plan includes innovative work-based reforms to prevent layoffs and give states greater flexibility to use UI funds to best support job-seekers, including:
› Work-Sharing: UI for workers whose employers choose work-sharing over layoffs.
› A new “Bridge to Work” program: The plan builds on and improves innovative state programs where those displaced take temporary, voluntary work or pursue on-the-job training.
› Inno
vative entrepreneurship and wage insurance programs: States will also be empowered to implement wage insurance to help reemploy older workers and programs that make it easier for unemployed workers to start their own businesses.
• A $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers.
• Prohibiting employers from discriminating against unemployed workers when hiring.
• Expanding job opportunities for low-income youth and adults through a fund for successful approaches for subsidized employment, innovative training programs and summer/year-round jobs
for youth.
• Cutting payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers next year: The President’s plan will expand the payroll tax cut passed last year to cut workers payroll taxes in half in 2012 – providing a $1,500 tax cut to the typical American family, without negatively impacting the Social Security Trust Fund.
• Allowing more Americans to refinance their mortgages at today’s near 4 percent interest rates, which can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket.
To ensure that the American Jobs Act is fully paid for, the President will call on the Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reduction necessary to pay for the Act and still meet its deficit target. The President will, in the coming days, release a detailed plan that will show how we can do that while achieving the additional deficit reduction necessary to meet the President’s broader goal of stabilizing our debt as a share of the economy.

The White House is inviting American citizens to become involved in the process and is willing to answer any questions that you may have.  The only way to keep in touch with new bills and acts is to become involved and make your voice heard.  If you like something, let them know, if you do not like something let them know or start a petition or boycott.  They can really work!

Here are some ways that you can be involved:

    * Today at 4:30 p.m. EDT: Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council will be answering your questions on Twitter during White House Office Hours using the hashtag #WHChat.
    * Monday September 12 at 4:30 p.m. EDT: White House Office Hours on Twitter with Stephanie Cutter, Assistant to the President and Deputy Senior Advisor.
    * Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30 p.m. EDT: I’ll be answering your questions on Twitter during White House Office Hours using the hashtag #WHChat.
    * Wednesday, September 14th at 4:00 p.m. EDT: White House Office Hours with Brian Deese, Deputy Director of the National Economic council. White House
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