Friday, 9 September 2011

Barack Obama's $447 Billion American Jobs Act: 'Stop the Political Circus'

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Barack Obama threw down the gauntlet to Republicans, demanding they "stop the political circus" and back a new $447 billion (£280 billion) jobs plan to help revive the "stalled" American economy.

"There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation," he 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."

The White House had briefed beforehand that the jobs package, to be called the American Jobs Act, would cost more than $300 billion. But Obama administration sources disclosed just before the address that the figure would be well over $400 million.

"It will provide a jolt to an economy that has stalled, and give companies confidence that if they invest and hire, there will be customers for their products and services," Mr Obama said. "You should pass this jobs plan right away."

The centrepiece of the plan was a deeper than expected $240 billion payroll tax cut for employers and employees meant to keep money in the pockets of those most in need. The plan's $447 billion price tag contains $175 billion to cut employee payroll taxes in half, to 3.1 percent in 2012.

Denying that the speech was "political grandstanding", he sought to shame Republican into action. » | Toby Harnden, US Editor | Friday, September 09, 2011