The $447 Billion Jobs and Tax Cut Plan and Some Thoughts From Recruiters

In broad strokes, last night President Obama outlined a $447 billion plan to bolster the economy and create new jobs.

Over half the cost comes from tax cuts for workers and small businesses. The balance is in spending on infrastructure repairs and improvements, especially to schools; at least 35,000 of them, the President said to a joint session of Congress. (The full text of his speech is here.)

He proposed a $4,000 tax credit for hiring long-term unemployed workers, and other credits for hiring veterans. He called for extending unemployment benefits and providing money to states to pay teachers, rather than lay them off.

If adopted, businesses would have the payroll tax breaks adopted in 2010 extended and even expanded to cover not only new hires, but salary increases, too. He also promised that companies doing business with the federal government would get paid faster for their work.

Homeowners will get help refinancing their mortgage to take advantage of low rates that, Obama said, could save them $2,000 a year.

Paying for the cuts and spending, Obama said, will come from adjustments to Medicare and Medicaid spending, elimination of tax loopholes for the richest Americans and the richest companies, as well as reforms to the tax code.

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Often in his 32-minute speech, Obama called on Congress to act quickly to adopt the most urgent provisions of what is now called the American Jobs Act. About the payroll tax cuts, teacher funding aid, the unemployment benefits extension, and, indeed, the entire proposal, Obama said, “You should pass it right away.”

Despite the frequent applause that came from Republicans as well as Democrats, getting the Act through Congress as he outlined it isn’t likely. The Wall Street Journal in its first report on the speech said economists “offered tepid enthusiasm” for the plan because of its small size and emphasis on temporary payroll tax cuts. The paper also noted that even the White House doesn’t expect the plan to survive as presented. Editor in Chief Todd Raphael was able to grab a few minutes with two recruiters in attendance at the ERE Expo this week in Hollywood, FL. In the video below, Raphael interviews Ted Daywalt of and Steven Rothberg of, discussing:

  • The 20-something-year-old who hopefully will jumpstart the job market
  • Why China’s advantage over the U.S. is not low wages
  • How what’s happening right now in the job market is a lot like the debate over President Clinton’s healthcare plan many years ago

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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