Skip to comments.Hill Dems pick apart Obama jobs plan (His own party rips his jobs bill)
Posted on 09/14/2011 6:53:16 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
President Barack Obamas new jobs plan is hitting some unexpected turbulence in the halls of Congress: lawmakers from his own party.
As he demands Congress quickly approve his ambitious proposal aimed at reviving the sagging economy, many Democrats on Capitol Hill appear far from sold that the president has the right antidote to spur major job growth and turn around their partys political fortunes.
Terrible, Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) told POLITICO when asked about the presidents ideas for how to pay for the $450 billion price tag. We shouldnt increase taxes on ordinary income. There are other ways to get there.
That offset is not going to fly, and he should know that, said Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu from the energy-producing Louisiana, referring to Obamas elimination of oil and gas subsidies. Maybe its just for his election, which I hope isnt the case.
I think the best jobs bill that can be passed is a comprehensive long-term deficit-reduction plan, said Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), discussing proposals to slash the debt by $4 trillion by overhauling entitlement programs and raising revenue through tax reforms. Thats better than everything else the president is talking about combined.
And those are just the moderates in the party. Some liberals also have concerns.
There is serious discomfort with potentially setting up Social Security as a fall guy because youre taking this contribution out, said Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona, referring to Obamas proposal to further slash payroll taxes.
Democrats in large numbers will still back the presidents overall jobs package, and when the plan heads for House and Senate consideration, some of these same skeptics will very likely vote to advance the measure. But as details of the plan began to be vetted on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, it was clear that the White House needed to redouble its sales job or tweak its plan to force Democrats to fall in line at a pivotal point in Obamas presidency.
White House officials arent ruling out making changes to the bill or compromising with Republicans on pieces of the agenda, and they plan to brief Senate Democrats on Thursday. But following his joint address to Congress last week, Obama, in a feisty speech Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, again ratcheted up pressure to pass this bill.
Tell them that if you want to create jobs right now pass this bill, Obama said. If you want construction workers renovating schools like this one pass this bill. If you want to put teachers back in the classroom pass this bill. If you want tax cuts for middle-class families and small-business owners, then what do you do? Pass this bill.
The audience shouted back, Pass this bill!
But in the halls of Congress, this bill was already expected to be modified, pared back significantly or overtaken by the powerful new deficit-slashing supercommittee.
Its hard to have an opinion on something you dont think is going to be the final product, said Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a conservative Democrat who faces a tough reelection next year. Ive made it clear Im looking for [tax] cuts, so Im very hopeful there will be cuts.
The wide-ranging reaction from Democrats speaks to the dilemma facing Obama as he heads into a tough reelection with the threat of economic recession looming: He needs to show the public that hes pushing forward a bold and detailed plan to reverse the 9.1 percent unemployment rate, but his low approval ratings have made it harder to push a bill through a deeply divided Congress.
The push to inject cash into the economy has left Democrats stuck between pushing a jobs bill while trying not to add to the deficit.
Every dollar that is spent on the jobs bill is not going to be available to Congress to deal with the debt, said Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, an independent who caucuses with Democrats. And to me, the top priority of ours should be long-term major debt reduction.
Lieberman insisted he was still open to backing the Obama plan, but he said the revenue raisers laid out in the plan raise questions about whether it will be paid for over the long term.
The new congressional supercommittee, created by last months law to raise the debt ceiling, could very well play a large role for the Obama jobs plan, which calls on the panel to find additional cost savings to help pay for it. In an effort to push the committee to find additional cuts in the range of $4 trillion over the next decade, a bipartisan group of senators met Tuesday morning in an effort to push the panel in that direction.
And next week, the White House plans to unveil what Obama says is a long-term deficit-reduction plan on top of the measures that administration officials say will fully offset the costs of the new jobs proposal over 10 years.
In the jobs plan, Obama proposes to expand payroll tax cuts so employees rates would be reduced to 3.1 percent in 2012, down from the original rate of 6.2 percent that helps fund Social Security. A number of tax credits would be extended to businesses that hire workers and purchase new equipment. Billions would be spent on school construction, the hiring of teachers, the enlistment of more first responders, the rebuilding of infrastructure and for construction companies renovating old homes. Unemployment benefits would be extended through 2013.
To pay for nearly $400 billion, the White House would limit to 28 percent itemized deductions for families earning more than $250,000. Some $18 billion would be raised by increasing taxes on income earned by investment funds, another $40 billion would be raised by repealing certain subsidies for oil and gas drilling, and $3 billion would be raised by overhauling how taxes are treated for corporate jets.
Limiting deductions to upper-income families was opposed by all but three senators in the Democratic-controlled Senate in 2009. But some of those who voted against the idea in 2009 say theyd be open to backing it as part of a comprehensive package.
The president has laid out a package, laid out a way of paying for it, I have no trouble supporting it, said Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota.
Similarly, while some Democrats worried about the impact further cuts to the payroll tax would have on the Social Security program, and whether it would spur job growth, some like Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) said they could swallow it as part of a more sweeping proposal.
But the tax increases clearly have generated concern among a number of Democrats who are calling for broader changes rather than tax hikes on specific industries.
If were going to change something, we got to be sure that we do it in the total [tax reform] package, that they know what the rules of the road are, said Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.).
Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, from the oil-rich state of Alaska, said it was frustrating to see the president single out the oil industry after calling on the congressional supercommittee in last weeks address to Congress to find savings.
When you start singling out certain industries, theres an unfairness to it, he said in an interview. On the pay-fors, I have a problem.
As they should.
Obama is a lame duck.
Mary, Mary, Mary, can you really be that damn'd dumb? He doesn't give a rip about your constituents in the oil industry in Louisiana, or how breaking them could possibly hurt your reelection chances. It's all about him.
“O” is struggling with this issue because he basically doesn’t know what a job IS!
Is this the same Mary Landrieu who BOASTED about how much her PAYBACK was regarding Hussein’s DEATHCARE bill?
Well, if their “side” has started implementing the new “throw zero under the bus” campaign, expect the MSM to start treating him like GWB.
Obama is no longer of concern to us. We need to watch for who the dems will offer up as their presidential candidate in 2012.
It is pretty clear it won’t be Obama.
Obama will discover that a family in blue states making 250-350K does not consider itself rich. When these folks see their mortgage and state and local tax deductions reduced by 2/3rds the dems will have Hell to pay.
The only reason these Democrats are criticizing the President’s plan is because they are racists. Racists! Oh yes they tried to conceal it by praising Obama, but in the end their racism comes out. Even those Black critics are now revealed as self-hating house Negroes. This is sarcasm. However, it is no more ridiculous than what the “progressives” have been spouting for the last two years.
Well, these dopes should have gotten it with a Republican win with Teddy’s seat, along with Republicans winning the governorships then 2010. IF it takes NY-9 to wake them up....it is a little too late. IF they’d awaken with just the Brown win...they’d have had the opportunity to respond to Americans and never would have lost NY-9.
shallow dribble from obamma mamba jamma lenin Khomeini
That’s what we should do to obamma mamba jamma lenin Khomeini
a continual you lie shout down, I have no respect for him at all..
Congress is only supposed to function on taxes in the form of Duties, Imposts and Excises. There is no permission granted to collect taxes on my labor.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
Read that last part again...what types of taxes are being spoken of? ...Duties, Imposts and Excises...taxes on goods.
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, >insert< in the form of >/insert< Duties, Imposts and Excises,
His “jobs bill” is nothing more than more Keynesian spending and creating new government employees to do nothing.
And we can see from the demographic makeup of most government jobs that this is an indirect but de facto reparations payment.
I guess we are all supposed to be so stupid that we can’t see that.