Submitted by Madeline Sanders
Although the resurgence of the American Economy has been proceeding at an anemic pace, the reason being that allegedly a number of business owners are uncertain as to the direction the country will go, dependent upon whether President Obama or former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney wins the presidential race. Having reviewed and analyzed the president’s American Jobs Act (AJA) of 2012, we should be suspicious of why business owners are reluctant to hire.
As a backdrop, we must keep in mind that only bold and aggressive actions will bring the United States out of the recession, this being cognizant of the fact that we live in a capitalistic society, and the foundation upon which such a form of government exists disallows the notion of one hundred percent (100%) employment. As to what is the moral acceptability of unemployment has been only vaguely defined; some economic writings have purported to accept five percent (5%) to six percent (6%). Whatever is acceptable, President Obama has proposed some bold ideas via his AJA of 2012, the passage of which has been thwarted by numerous Republicans, Tea Partiers and some Democrats. Herewith, we examine each proposal and the merit or lack thereof of each:
Category: Reduced tax payments to enable small businesses to grow:
(1) The AJA of 2012 would cut by one-half payroll taxes up to the first $5 million for the 98% of businesses that fit this category. Such a possibility frees up money to create potential growth opportunities in, for example, research and development, advertising, info-education and seminar programs and (2) AJA 2012 would provide a payroll tax holiday for businesses that either add new workers or increase the wages of their existing workers, with the holiday tax being capped at $50 million. Such a cap creates the possibility for businesses to expand; it is tantamount to untoward money in the bank.
Category: Creating Worker Sustainability While Rebuilding and Modernizing America
(1) The AJA 2012 would increase to employers for hiring veterans from $5,600 to $9,600 for hiring “Returning Heroes” veterans who are unemployed; (2) The AJA 2012 proposes to modernize 35,000 public schools while enabling both 280,000 teachers and a large number of firefighters and police officers to maintain their employment. Moreover the Act wants the modernization of public schools to entail the upgrade of science labs, creation of internet-ready classrooms and various renovations of both urban and rural schools and (3) an infrastructure improvement program covering roads, rails, airports and waterways, (3) Rehabilitation (i.e. Project Rebuild) of residential and commercial properties in communities, an initiative desperately needed, given the millions of inventory on the market, is also in the Act. Additionally, AJA 2012 proposes the leveraging of private capital as well as land scaling banks, and (4) Enactment of AJA 2012 would span the breadth of wireless connections around more of the country. Each of these is a much needed project.
A visit to many of our schools will find them in dire need of upgrades in general, and certainly new science labs in particular. Unless science laboratories, on a broader scale, are brought into the 21st Century, the United States will continue to trail other countries as a powerhouse of intellectual talent. Additionally, great science labs require great teachers and a plethora of them to educate youngsters, and when the contingent of educators is threatened with reductions that signals an unnecessary challenge of pedagogy in the classroom because of too many students. Worse, the fact that we are in the 21st Century makes it a no brainer that every classroom in America should be internet-ready, and, for that not to be so suggests unequal education in some classrooms. Moreover, construction upgrade of schools certainly does not negate the need for similar upgrades via infrastructure projects.
Construction crews and equipment should be working everywhere. The United States has a critical need for infrastructure upgrades and the elimination of pathetic appearing properties in some communities. Such substandard communities send the wrong message to its citizens, a message that encourages aberrant behavior; the two go hand in glove. Similarly, no community should be devoid of the wireless technology. As stated elsewhere in this blog, along with the entry of updated technology concomitantly come jobs.
Category: Pathways Back to Work
AJA 2012 proposes to: (1) allow states to make better use of unemployment insurance received by permitting employers to continue paying the insurance to persons who are sharing a job , (2) create a Bridge to Work Program wherein people would be brought/hired into a work place in some appropriate capacity as temporaries, volunteers, or for on-the-job-training, (3) grant expansive power to states by allowing them to let the older unemployed start their businesses while receiving unemployment insurance, (4) disallow discrimination against any worker seeking employment, (5) Grant a $4,000 tax credit to the long-term unemployed and (6) encourage employers to hire low-income youth for summer as well as year-round jobs. Each of these sub-proposals is reasonable approaches to reducing employment in America. We should not believe that any employer desires to stagnate; growth is exemplified by either increased revenue or new workers or both. Certainly, most employers will want to add more workers to his or her production or service line.
Category: Tax Relief for Every American Worker and Family
AJA 2012 proposes to: (1) cut the payroll taxes in half of more than 160 million Americans so that each individual would receive an approximate $1,500 tax credit and (2) allow millions of Americans with mortgages the opportunity to refinance those, and thus take advantage of the 4% interest rate, an exercise that would result in every participant receiving about $2,000 for his or her pocket. Each of these ideas represents savings to the consumer, and thus money going towards an investment, however small that may be.
Category: Joint Committee to Investigate Debt Reduction Relief Strategies
Upon passage of AJA 2012, President Obama would direct his Joint Committee to investigate methods of implementing the legislation via debt reduction in other categories. President Obama’s willingness to direct his Joint Committee to examine alternate debt reduction possibilities while putting the money towards reducing unemployment suggests his cognizance that there is fluff to weed out. We should marvel at his strategy not to keep layering up the federal government agencies, sub-agencies, departments, oversight committees, sub-committees, task forces, special task forces, adjunct groups or any layer not named herein. We look forward to the next Congress and Senate bringing unemployment down to fewer than six percent (6%), not an impossibility.
Finally, passage of AJA 2012 should have occurred during the last Congress, but it was blocked by the Republicans. The Act has tackled the matter of unemployment utilizing a number of fronts to address it. With approximately 23 million people unemployed, and with the rate even higher among blacks, it is unconscionable that the House comprising intransigent Republicans, insensitive Tea Partiers and stonewalling Democrats would not have made passage of AJA 2012 a moral issue. In other words, the suffering among so many Americans is enormous that federal politicians should have done everything possible to bring the urgently needed assistance. Therefore, as the days wind down to the 2012 Election, keep in mind that we not only need a president sensitive to the 47% of the American electorate, but also a Congress and Senate committed to pushing through legislation that will bring relief that millions of Americans need.