Obama wants to invest in infrastructure, hire more state and local workers, double the size of the payroll tax cut and add a new set of tax cuts for small businesses and companies that hire new employees. Two of those policies would add hundreds of thousands of workers to payrolls. The other two move money into the economy immediately – boosting demand and jobs.
President Barack Obama has not met for six months with the CEOs and others on his Jobs Council in part because he’s simply been too busy, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.
“There’s no specific reason, except the president has obviously got a lot on his plate, but he continues to solicit and receive advice from numerous folks outside the administration about the economy about ideas that he can act on with Congress or administratively to help the economy grow and help create jobs,” Carney said in the White House’s first on-the-record response to a POLITICO story noting the hiatus.
The last official meeting of the 26-member President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness took place Jan. 17 in the White House complex. Obama and a slew of other administration officials attended, including his then chief of staff, Bill Daley.
Obama named General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt to head the panel in January of last year as the president tried to mend his frayed relationship with the business community and highlight his commitment to job creation. Part of the council’s political value was to show Obama working closely with top business leaders on behalf of the American people. But the White House insisted that the council’s recommendations would lead to real action.
Obama called the upper-bracket tax cuts "a major driver of our deficit" yet "the least likely to promote growth." And, he noted, "it's not like I like to pay taxes. I might feel differently if we were still in surplus."
The job creation ideas would be proposals both parties can support, although he said he’s not going to wait for Congress to act first.
“Given the hardship that many people are facing — folks got to get together,” he said. “But we aren’t going to wait for them…The time for Washington gamesmanship is over. The time for action is now. No more manufactured crises and no more games. Now is not the time for the people you sent to Washington to worry about their jobs; now is the time for them to worry about your jobs.”
But Obama is still 316,000 jobs away from being a net job creator in office - as 4.316 million jobs were lost in his first 13 months in office, and 4 million jobs have been added since then.
"We've got more work to do on their behalf, not only to reclaim all the jobs that were lost during the recession, but also to reclaim the kind of financial security that too many, Americans have felt was slipping away from them for too long," he said of the unemployed. "And we knew when I started in this job that this was going to take some time. We haven't had to come back from an economic crisis this deep or this painful since the 1930s."
It offers $62 billion for unemployment insurance and jobs programs, $60 billion for infrastructure projects, $35 billion to keep 280,000 teachers on the job and to prevent layoffs of police and firefighters, $30 billion to modernize schools and $15 billion for construction workers to rehabilitate hundreds of thousands of vacant and foreclosed homes and businesses.
“There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation,” Obama said. “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.”
President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council hasn’t met publicly for six months, even as the issue of job creation dominates the 2012 election.
“After all, innovation is what America has always been about. Most new jobs are created in start-ups and small businesses. So let’s pass an agenda that helps them succeed. Tear down regulations that prevent aspiring entrepreneurs from getting the financing to grow. Expand tax relief to small businesses that are raising wages and creating good jobs.”
Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin. And you know that while corporate profits have come roaring back, smaller companies haven't. So for everyone who speaks so passionately about making life easier for "job-creators," this plan's for you. Pass this jobs bill. ...
Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or if they raise workers' wages. Pass this jobs bill, and all small-business owners will also see their payroll taxes cut in half next year. If you have 50 employees... ...
If you have 50 employees making an average salary, that's an $80,000 tax cut.
The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple: to put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of those who are working. It will create more jobs for construction workers, more jobs for teachers, more jobs for veterans, and more jobs for long-term unemployed. ... It will provide — it will provide a tax break for companies who hire new workers, and it will cut payroll taxes in half for every working American and every small business. ... It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and if they hire, there will be customers for their products and services. You should pass this jobs plan right away. ...
When President Obama took office, the economy was losing more than 700,000 jobs per month. President Obama acted quickly to pass the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which cut taxes for small businesses and 95% of working families. It also included emergency funding to support about 300,000 educator jobs, more than 4,600 law enforcement positions, and investments in the clean energy sector that supported 224,500 jobs through 2010. Through May 2012, the economy has added 4.4 million private sector jobs over 28 consecutive months of job growth.