Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jobs Plan Getting Better and Better

So not only was Obama's jobs plan was genuinely good policy, but he seemed to be more confrontational than in the past, and ready to take the fight over this bill to the american people, rather than backroom caves negotiations.

With all those positive signs, there were always still the potentially troubling aspect of how this bill would be paid for. Normally this wouldn't even be an issue, but with a president who spent two years talking about the deficit and floating cuts to medicare and social security, there was reason to be concerned.

Thankfully, this part of the plan is great as well:
Most of the new funds, Lew said, would be attained by limiting itemized deductions for individuals making more than $200,000 a year and families making more than $250,000, a plan President Obama has tried to push since his campaign days. Taking these steps would raise roughly $400 billion over 10 years, Lew said. [...] The administration also include a long-time policy goal of taxing the income investment fund managers make, known as carried interest, as regular income instead of as capital gains, which has a lower 15 percent tax rate. So far, Wall Street has strongly resisted any attempt to increase the rate on so-called carried interest. That change alone, would provide an infusion of $18 billion in revenue, according to administration officials.

The elimination of a tax break for the oil and gas industry would raise another $40 billion, and another $3 billion would come from changing the way corporate jets depreciate. Combined with a few other smaller revenue raises, Lew said the total measures proposed by the administration would bring in $467 billion, with some "wiggle room" -- $20 billion more than the cost of Obama's jobs bill, to ensure there's room to account for Congress' bean counters score the total a bit differently.
It will be interesting how far he goes in pushing for this plan, but this proposal is probably as good as liberals could have hoped for (especially considering Jared Bernstein's revelation about there being no appetite for direct government job creation in the White House).

During the rest of Obama's first term, we've seen the results of half measures designed to please conservatives, with the substantive efforts to pass those bills being done only in backroom negotiations.

This jobs bill could make a real difference in the economy, and if he's ready to go state to state and take the case for this bill to the american people, who knows?

Frankly, I'm just excited to see the White House putting their efforts behind genuinely good policy.

About fucking time.

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