Obama jobs plan backs tax credits
Also will call for tax-cut extension
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama will roll out a jobs package on Thursday that strives to lift the ailing economy through $300 billion worth of tax credits, school renovation projects, job training for the unemployed and a program to prevent teacher layoffs, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plans.
In his speech before a joint session of Congress, Obama also will ask lawmakers to renew the 2 percent payroll tax cut that was approved last December and to extend jobless benefits, said the person, who requested anonymity to talk more freely about White House internal deliberations.
The White House would not confirm specifically what is in the plan. And details could change as White House advisers fine-tune the package.
The address looms as one of the most important of Obama’s presidency. Unemployment stands at 9.1 percent and the fragile economic recovery appears to have stalled.
A new wave of polling this week shows that people are deeply pessimistic about the country’s future and dissatisfied with Obama’s management of the economy. A Washington Post-ABC News survey showed that 77 percent believe the country is on the wrong track.
Obama is under pressure from his Democratic base to submit a “bold” package that would put a real dent in the jobless rate – and revive his re-election prospects.
Briefing reporters on Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that impartial economists will conclude that the new jobs plan would “have a direct, quick and positive impact on the economy and job creation.”
Carney also said the package would be “paid for,” not financed through deficit spending.