President Barack Obama unveiled his $447 billion jobs bill last night hoping to restore some of the economic confidence employers need to accelerate hiring. The president’s speech to a joint session of Congress came a week after the AIM Business Confidence Index slipped into negative territory for the first time in a year.
So, does the plan make you more confident? Will it influence your hiring plans? Please let us know in the comments section below.
Here are some of the key elements of the American Jobs Act, compiled by Reuters:
- Employee Tax Holiday – A $175 billion, one-year extension and expansion of the employee payroll tax holiday that would halve the tax rate to 3.1 percent in 2012.
- Employer Payroll Tax Holiday – Sixty-five billion dollars to encourage small businesses to hire more workers. The initiative includes halving employer payroll taxes to 3.1 percent for the first $5 million of a company’s wage bill in 2012, a change the administration says will reach 98 percent of small businesses. Also includes a complete payroll tax holiday for increasing the size of the payroll by up to $50 million above the prior year, either by hiring new workers or raising the salaries of the existing labor force.
- Extend 100 percent company expensing into 2012 – At a cost of $5 billion, the president wants to extend a 100 percent expensing tax break for companies, allowing them to immediately take a tax deduction for investment in new plant and equipment.
- Housing – Broaden homeowner access to mortgage refinancing and help the battered housing market by allowing households to take advantage of low borrowing costs that would help them put their finances on a sound footing.
- Eighty-Five Billion Dollar for State and Local Governments – Includes $35 billion to keep teachers, firefighters and police officers in their jobs, of which $30 billion would go to schools and $5 billion to police and firefighters; $30 billion to modernize schools and community colleges; $15 billion to rehabilitate and refurbish vacant and foreclosed homes; and $5 billion to help low-income youths and adult workers, supporting summer and year-round jobs for young people and support subsidized work for unemployed low-income workers.
- Road, Rail and Aviation Infrastructure Spending – Includes $50 billion to invest in highways, transit, rail and aviation, including upgrading U.S. airports and supporting Nextgen Air Traffic modernization.
- Infrastructure Bank – A $10 billion proposals to capitalize an infrastructure bank to leverage private and public infrastructure investment “without earmarks or traditional influence,” the White House says.
- Extend Unemployment Insurance, Bridge to Work – Forty-nine billion dollars for a one-year extension of long-term unemployment benefits that would otherwise expire, an action the White House says would prevent 6 million jobless Americans from losing benefits. It includes reforms to the jobless aid system and a “bridge to work” program to help get unemployed people back to work. Also, $8 billion for tax credits for hiring the long-term unemployed.