Obama Rolls Out Job-Creation Plan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

A combative President Barack Obama rolled out a long-term jobs program Monday that would exceed $50 billion to rebuild roads, railways and runways, and coupled it with a blunt campaign-season assault on Republicans for causing Americans' hard economic times.
GOP leaders instantly assailed Obama's proposal as an ineffective one that would simply raise already excessive federal spending. Many congressional Democrats are also likely to be reluctant to boost expenditures and increase federal deficits just weeks before elections that will determine control of Congress.
Jim Manley, spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, cautioned, "If we are going to get anything done, Republican cooperation, which has been all but non-existent recently, will be necessary."
That left the plan with low, if not impossible, odds of becoming law this year. When Congress returns from summer recess in mid-September, it is likely to remain in session for only a few weeks before lawmakers return home to campaign for re-election.
Administration officials said that even if Congress quickly approved the program, it would not produce jobs until sometime next year. That means the proposal's only pre-election impact may be a political one as the White House tries to demonstrate to voters that it is working to boost the economy and create jobs.
At a Labor Day speech in Milwaukee, Obama said Republicans are betting that between now and the Nov. 2 elections, Americans will forget the Republican economic policies that led to the recession. He said Republicans have opposed virtually everything he has done to help the economy, and have proposed solutions that have only made the problem worse.
"That philosophy didn't work out so well for middle-class families all across America," Obama told a cheering crowd at a labor gathering. "It didn't work out so well for our country. All it did was rack up record deficits and result in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
He said Repubicans have consistently opposed his economic proposals and seem to be running on a slogan of "No, we can't," playing off his 2008 presidential campaign mantra of "Yes we can."
"If I said fish live in the sea, they'd say no," Obama said.
Republicans made clear that Obama should not expect any help from them.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the plan "should be met with justifiable skepticism." He said it would raise taxes while Americans are "still looking for the 'shovel-ready' jobs they were promised more than a year ago" in the $814 billion economic stimulus measure.
The House Republican leader, John Boehner of Ohio, added "We don't need more government 'stimulus' spending. We need to end Washington Democrats' out-of-control spending spree, stop their tax hikes, and create jobs by eliminating the job-killing uncertainty that is hampering our small businesses."
Administration officials are hunting broadly for ways to revive the economy. But they are likely to drop a separate proposal to renew a law exempting companies from paying Social Security taxes on any unemployed workers they hire, according to a White House official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision was not final.
Casual in brown slacks and open-collar white shirt with rolled-up sleeves, Obama took a populist tack in his speech, mixing attacks on Republicans with praise for working-class and middle-class Americans.
He said he'd "keep fighting, every single day, every single hour, every single minute to turn this economy around." He said interest groups he has battled "talk about me like a dog."
He also acknowledged that the past eight months of modest private-sector job growth hasn't been enough to bring down the unemployment rate. He said economic problems facing families today are "more serious than ever," and seemed to ask the audience in Milwaukee -- and voters nationwide -- for patience.
"Now here's the honest truth, the plain truth. There's no silver bullet, there's no quick fix to these problems," he said, adding that it will take time to "reverse the damage of a decade worth of policies" that caused the recession.
Administration officials said the transportation plan's initial $50 billion would be the beginning of a six-year program of transportation improvements, but they did not give an overall figure. The proposal has a longer-range focus than last year's economic stimulus bill, which was more targeted on immediate job creation.
The plan calls for rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads; building and maintaining 4,000 miles of rail lines and 150 miles of airport runways, and installing a new air navigation system to reduce travel times and delays.
Obama also called for a permanent funding mechanism, an infrastructure bank, to focus on paying for national and regional infrastructure projects. Officials provided few details of how the bank would work.
Obama said the proposal would be fully paid for. In an earlier briefing for reporters, administration officials said Obama would pay for the program by asking lawmakers to close tax breaks for oil and gas companies and multinational corporations.
The infrastructure spending is part of a package of economic proposals to be announced this week by Obama, who is feeling heat from fellow Democrats and a jittery public to show that he is focused on pumping life into the economic recovery and shrinking an unemployment rate long stuck near 10 percent.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Sep 8, 2010 at 08:52 PM
    Glad to hear that it's all Bush's fault, Linda, and also the fault of just one party. "Voting Democratic" is not a solution, nor is voting Republican. That is all just mindless drivel, and repeating the "ditch" analogy, as Barry does endlessly, automatically invalidates anything else you may have said. And, no, I don't watch FOX News or Glenn Beck. Those are two assumptions that have no basis in fact.
  • by Linda Location: Lansing on Sep 8, 2010 at 05:03 PM
    I don't know what state you folk live in. I think you all watch FOX news and Glen Beck, just a guess. Thank goodness you are a minority. The President told the truth and used facts. You can't have your own facts. Bush and his ilk just about ran this country into a ditch. If you live in this state you should definitly know that. The likes of Snyder sent our jobs to China. When a man has 6 million dollars to spend on his own campaign I do wonder who he is doing it for. Probably not me. Probably himself.. Vote Democratic. Vote for the workers, the laborers in this state.
  • by Anonymous on Sep 7, 2010 at 09:40 AM
    Here is dumb idea. Instead of extending unemployment, put those people to work picking up trash and working for their money.
  • by Ricardo Location: Lansing on Sep 7, 2010 at 03:10 AM
    Just great! Spending even more money to prop up non existing jobs. Remember folks, the government doesn't generate one dime in money. All they do is take money from people willing to actually work at doing something productive, and give to special interest groups, to insure even more non productive government "workers" are hired. Something has to give soon. Government "workers" pay has increased to the point that they now earn nearly 100% more than the private sector. (The people that actually do something) This imbalance is not sustainable. The cost of government operations must be reduced to realistic levels. Thank You Ricardo
  • by non anonymous on Sep 6, 2010 at 10:42 PM
    Ron Paul 2012
  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Sep 6, 2010 at 09:17 PM
    Barry is scrambling to make himself look good somehow, but he really doesn't care. He attained his major goal, to become "historic". He and his cronies Pelosi and Reid spent more than a year shoving the Obamunist health care "reform" down our throats while jobs and the economy were going down the drain, and throwing more of OUR money at it won't help. Remember, people, VOTING HAS CONSEQUENCES. All of you who voted for Barry thought it would be really "cool" to have him as our president, but look at what you've done by putting him in office. Don't do that again. Research the candidates and do your due diligence BEFORE you vote. If you don't know who the candidates are, or where they stand on the issues, then don't vote.
  • by Taxpayer on Sep 6, 2010 at 05:22 PM
    And AMERICANS have CREATED a PLAN to ROLL BARACK right outta office in 2012... !!!! Were fed up with his bailouts..that are only a band-aid..and arent a solution ..His bailouts are a temporary fix, and after the money is gone..TROUBLE still exists.. Barack are you stupid? Youve blown your chance to fix the economy... 2 years youve done nothing but hand banks money while tax payers lose their homes , jobs and hope! We are no ready for the change you promised..CHANGE our President Vote him out in 2012
WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 102302964 - wilx.com/a?a=102302964
Gray Television, Inc.