Obama’s jobs bill raises questions

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By Zach Hicks

Earlier this month President Barack Obama proposed to Congress the American Jobs Act, a bill that is geared towards putting Americans back to work and jumpstarting the economy.

As our unemployment rate hovers at 9.1 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Sept. 2, it is clear that Americans need to be put back to work.

From this highly publicized bill, there are questions that arise: will this be positive for Whitewater? Will it be positive for America? These two questions garner two very different answers.

It is worth noting that the proposed bill would help Whitewater’s small businesses in several ways. The bill, if passed by Congress, would cut payroll taxes for small businesses in half.

Employers getting less money taken away by the government is always a positive thing.

Another plus is the payroll tax holiday that businesses would receive for any workers they add or give raises to.

These two provisions will allow businesses to hire and grow. However, revising restrictions on small businesses such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as well as giving banks incentives to lend money, would have been highly coveted by small business owners as well.

What can students deduct from this portion of the proposed legislation? Thriving small businesses in Whitewater will mean more jobs for students – definitely a positive.

A new interest in small businesses by Obama is a bit of a surprise to some but is certainly a positive step forward. However, this bill seems to have more negatives than positives.

First, Obama plans on steadily raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires in order to fund his proposed bill. While there are lots of economists the president can consult for advice on this issue, perhaps he should adhere to his own wisdom.

“The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession because that would just take more demand out of the economy and put business further in a hole,” Obama told NBC’s Senior White House Correspondent Chuck Todd during an interview in 2009.

Obama’s proposed millionaire tax funds his $447 billion infrastructure stimulus plan, which sounds eerily similar to the previous $787 billion stimulus bill that did little in lessening the unemployment rate.

The final red flag of Obama’s jobs bill is that it has very little chance of being passed by Congress. When the president proposed funding the bill by taxing millionaires, he knew that he would not receive bipartisan support.  GOP leaders such as House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (Janesville, Wis.), have denounced the proposed legislation as “class warfare.”

While the president’s solution may be good in some ways for small businesses in Whitewater, the overall impact it would have on America and its economy would be a negative one.

Raising taxes while the country is in economic turmoil is never a good idea. Just ask Obama, he even said it himself.