All Articles Tagged "jobs plan"
There are two new rituals about the yearly census reports on poverty in America. One is that the census figures show more Americans continue to sink into poverty. The poverty rate this year jumped to the highest level in nearly two decades. Those hardest hit remain the same. Blacks and Hispanics were nearly twice as likely as whites to be poor. But racial distinctions aside, the census figures showed that there were a lot of poor whites too, and what’s become an increasingly even more common trend is that many of those who tumbled into the poverty column are those who at one time were by all measures considered middle class.
The other ritual is that the news of rising poverty makes headlines one day. And the next it is forgotten. This year is no different. Not one of the GOP presidential candidates made mention of the poverty rate jump. The White House was equally mum on the report. Poverty remains the taboo word on the campaign stump, among lawmakers, the media, and the general public. It remains even a taboo word among many of the poor.
Political and public references to poverty virtually disappeared from the nation’s vocabulary by the end of the 1960s. The continued existence of so many poor people after a decade of civil rights gains, the rash of initiatives and programs to end poverty, and massive government spending on the poverty programs by President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s, was ultimate proof to many that tossing money and programs at ending poverty was flawed, failed, and wasteful. It seemed to fly squarely in the face of the embedded laissez faire notion that the poor in America aren’t poor because of any failing of the system, but because of their personal failings. This is not just the hard bitten attitude of GOP free market conservatives. It is the attitude of the majority of Americans, including many of those who were poor. When poverty started to inch up in 2001, National Public Radio (NPR), the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School, conducted a national poll to find out just what Americans attributed poverty in the nation too. The terms that were bandied about by many of the respondents no matter their background was that the poor were “unmotivated,” “lacked aspirations to get ahead,” and “didn’t work hard enough.” A majority believed America was a place where with hard work and determination anyone could succeed. In other words, the loud message was that if you’re poor, it’s your fault, don’t blame society, and especially don’t look to government to be the cure.
Democratic presidents and presidential contenders took this message to heart. Still reeling from the fierce conservative backlash to the perceived failure of Johnson’s war on poverty, they gingerly moved around making any public pronouncements about massive government spending hikes on welfare, income supplement, and health care programs for the next two decades. The Democrats trembled that such talk would only stir up white anger by reinforcing the old perception that Democrats tilt toward minorities, and especially blacks.
But the poor stubbornly refused to go away. There was some hope during the 2008 presidential campaign that Democrats might lift the taboo about talking about the plight of the poor. Democratic presidential contender John Edwards fueled that hope when he openly talked about poverty, and that he would the issue one of the centerpieces of his campaign. In a well publicized appearance, Edwards launched his presidential campaign in the front yard of a mangled brick house in New Orleans’s mostly black, Katrina and poverty devastated Upper Ninth Ward. He talked boldly about the need to crusade against poverty. Democratic presidential rivals Obama, and Hillary Clinton, not to be outdone, also gave speeches challenging the nation to do more to alleviate poverty. The talk didn’t last. With the exception of Edwards, whose candidacy quickly disintegrated after public revelations about his love tryst, the candidates didn’t utter another word about poverty during the rest of the campaign. The GOP presidential contender, John McCain, as expected, made no mention of poverty as a policy issue either.
The mantra for the GOP and many Democrats are deficit reduction, tax cuts, and measured, and narrow spending on infrastructure projects to jump start the economy. The widespread view that government should play a minimal role in assisting the poor has crept through in President Obama’s speeches and talks in which he touts personal responsibility as the key to uplift. It would be the height of political and fiscal incorrectness, even heresy, to expect that to change in Obama’s drive to keep and the GOP’s drive snatch back the White House.
The ritual census figures that show that the number of poor continue to grow with little end in sight to the rise hasn’t budged the nation to do anything about their plight. Poverty is the forbidden word that sadly is doomed for now to remain America’s taboo word.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour on KTYM Radio Los Angeles streamed on ktym.com podcast on blogtalkradio.com and internet TV broadcast on thehutchinsonreportnews.com Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson
(New York Times) — To pay for his $447 billion jobs bill, President Obama is once again proposing an assortment of tax increases on wealthy individuals and corporations. But the White House also says its plan should be viewed as a rough framework, because its top priority is to get the jobs bill enacted. If Congress approves the president’s jobs plan, it could instead pay for it with other spending cuts or tax increases if that is what the Congressional committee on deficit reduction recommends later this fall. The bulk of the additional tax revenue under Mr. Obama’s proposal would come from the wealthiest 1.5 percent of taxpayers — individuals with adjusted gross income over $200,000, families with more than $250,000 — who would face new limits on their itemized deductions for such things as charitable contributions and state and local taxes. The initiative is similar to one made by the president during the debt ceiling negotiations two months ago and rebuffed by Congressional Republicans.
Last week President Barack Obama proposed a stimulus package aimed to raise about $447 billion over a 10 year period. But how will he pay for this plan? In true Robin Hood style, Obama’s proposes that the funds come by taking from the rich.
According to CNNMoney, Obama will heavily tax those in the two highest earning income brackets. The proposal “would limit itemized deductions and certain other exemptions for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 or more.” For married couples, the amount would be raised to $250,000 and more.
Generally, rich households disproportionately benefit from itemized deductions, which include donations to charity and mortgage interest. Under Obama’s new plan, itemized deductions will be capped at 28 percent.
For example, for every $100 in deductions that the rich claim, they would only be able to decrease their tax bill by $28 as opposed to the current deduction decrease of $36 to $39.60 for those in the top two tax brackets. Assuming Bush-era tax cuts would adjust the top two income tax rates from 33 and 35 percent to 36 and 39.6 percent, the new tax rule would be effective starting Jan. 1, 2013.
In addition to heavier taxes on the rich, “carried interest,” which is the portion paid to hedge fund managers and other investment partnerships, would be taxed as normal income under Obama’s proposal. This means it could be taxed as much as 39.6 percent, a substantial difference from the current rate at 15 percent. According to the White House, this measure may possibly create an extra $18 billion over 10 years.
Obama also proposes to tighten and decrease the generous depreciation rule for corporate jet purchases. This move would save about $3 billion. He also plans to repeal oil subsidies which would make for about $40 billion worth of savings.
Altogether, the proposal would raise about $467 billion, White House budget director Jacob Lew calculates, pointing out that the measures “intentionally overachieves” on savings to account for the expected estimate difference that the Congressional Budget Office will make.
The proposal is sure to draw strong opposition and criticism from Republicans who do not wish to see taxes raised and never favored Obama’s jobs plan. The plan, which is similar to all three of his budgets, has not yet made any progress in Congress.
(Entrepreneur) — If job creation starts with the smallest businesses, here are a few measures that may get the ball rolling more quickly. In his address to a joint session of Congress last night, President Barack Obama laid out a wide-ranging — if not gutsy — plan for trimming U.S. unemployment rolls and putting U.S. workers back in paying jobs. In addition to assisting the long-term unemployed and veterans, the bill, called the American Jobs Act, proposes to provide federal aid to many of the nation’s small-business owners. ”Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin,” President Obama said in his speech. “For everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for ‘job creators,’ this plan is for you.”
by Tyrus Townsend
On Thursday evening, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress to propose his $447 billion American Jobs Act, which he hopes will lower the deficit, create new jobs and revive economic growth. If you are asking you if this feels like déjà vu, that’s because in some ways, it is.
If you may recall in 2009, President Obama proposed the original stimulus bill which involved a variety of tax cuts for small businesses, working individuals, increased spending on infrastructure, education and extended unemployment benefits. This new bill, however, will piggy back on his previous efforts and expand on the original proposal.
Of the $447 billion plan, $253 billion of that will go to tax cuts while the remaining $194 billion will specifically target new spending which includes infrastructure, modernizing our educational properties, surface transportation and much more. But what does this mean in laymen’s terms? According to CNN Money, “payroll tax cuts of 3.1%, $8 billion in tax credits to businesses, $50 billion in immediate funding for highways, transit, rail and aviation, working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to lower mortgage plans” and much more.
President Obama opened his speech by emphasizing the state of American suffering: “This past week, reporters have been asking, ‘What will this speech mean for the President? What will it mean for Congress? How will it affect their polls, and the next election? But the millions of Americans who are watching right now, they don’t care about politics. They have real-life concerns. Many have spent months looking for work. Others are doing their best just to scrape by — giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage; postponing retirement to send a kid to college.”
But did President Obama miss one key element during his mark when he addressed unemployment, specifically for the state of Black America? According to Rep. Maxine Waters, Obama chose not to highlight the African-American community, even though they make up 26% of the current unemployed or underemployed population. “I wanted him to say something about the intolerable rate of unemployment in the African-American community. He didn’t quite get there,” Waters told CBS News’ Scott Pelley in an interview on CBSNews.com immediately following the speech. “But he talked about long-term unemployed, he talked about disadvantaged youth.”
“I would have had even bigger plans, but it was a big plan and it included some of the ideas we have been pushing,” she said. And by ‘we’, she means the members of the Congressional Black Caucus, who have been extremely vocal about high unemployment rate in our community. Though extremely critical, the congresswoman seemed optimistic and supportive of our president in this time of economic crisis. “I do think we have a chance to do something substantive and to get at this terrible unemployment in this country,” Waters told Pelley. “I think he got it right.”
And for the sake of our country and our future, one can only hope so.
(Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama plans to propose sparking job growth by injecting more than $300 billion into the economy next year, mostly through tax cuts, infrastructure spending and direct aid to state and local governments. Obama will call on Congress to offset the cost of the short-term jobs measures by raising tax revenue in later years. This would be part of a long-term deficit reduction package, including spending and entitlement cuts as well as revenue increases, that he will present next week to the congressional panel charged with finding ways to reduce the nation’s debt. Almost half the stimulus would come from tax cuts, which include an extension of a two-percentage-point reduction in the payroll tax paid by workers due to expire Dec. 31 and a new decrease in the portion of the tax paid by employers. Obama is set to lay out his plans in an address to Congress tomorrow as unemployment remains at 9.1 percent more than two years after the official end of the worst recession since the Great Depression. Payroll growth stalled last month.