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Old 09-09-2011, 10:58 AM
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Default "Jobs Act"

Just read this in the news:

BBC News - US jobs plan: Barack Obama unveils $450bn package

Has anyone had a detailed look at it yet? I am liking the cuts for small businesses and tax cuts for workers. Is it really a decent bottom-up approach to economic stimulation, or am I being optimistic here?
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Old 09-09-2011, 11:12 AM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

I'm liking this bit:

Quote:
Mr Obama, whose 2012 re-election depends on his ability to bring down the jobless rate, proposed extending unemployment insurance at a cost of $46 billion, modernising schools for $28 billion, and putting construction workers to work on $47 billion worth of transportation infrastructure projects.
Employment benefits plus long overdue infrastructure investment will be a win. Where's the rest of the money though?
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

I missed the speech--did he talk about rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans? IMO that needs to be part of this package. He needs to include it, and dare the GOP to roll back the cuts, or show their true colors--they support the extremely wealthy over the unemployed.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

Reduction of government regulation: Here he stated he had some 5,000 regulations already found which would reduce costs to business so that business could better use that money to create jobs.

Lots of business and payroll tax cuts.

I think he might have thought he was at the GOP debate and that he is running for the GOP nomination.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:40 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

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Originally Posted by Vivisectus View Post
Has anyone had a detailed look at it yet?
He said a week from Monday he would have the whole proposal available.
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Old 09-09-2011, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Gooch's dad View Post
I missed the speech--did he talk about rolling back the Bush tax cuts on the wealthiest Americans?
He made some references to Warren Buffet not paying enough tax and that the wealthy need to pay their fair share but nothing specific.
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Old 09-09-2011, 01:02 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

I didn't watch the speech, and I'm not optimistic about any of it coming into fruition. A large spending bill is highly unlikely to pass, imo, especially this close to the next election. (I don't care if it's going to be paid for with even more "reforms".) It's too late for this.

The whole thing was a pointless waste of time from beginning to end. I'm sick of all the people in Washington and most of the people in the country. Every time I read the news, I wonder if we made the wrong choice in choosing to stay in the US.
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Old 09-09-2011, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

I have to say, I'm kind of pleased with where the last government works bill's money went. Just got one of the streets near me repaved with new curb cuts all along and the city next to me is finally putting in sidewalks on the main street. That's all from the previous stimulus bill.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:56 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

I am actually living in the middle of a construction project that is a result of the stimulus project. The tiny park we live across from, and the neighborhood has been begging to have improvements to, is getting up-graded as a secondary result of the transportation money.
It does seem too little, too late. Lots of people have lost their homes in my area.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

Oh, I'm happy about what the last stimulus did, too. It gave RA a job, and the tax incentives made it easier to sell our townhouse. I am in total favor of increased government spending, especially on infrastructure, but I doubt it will happen.
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

Yeah infrastructure spending sound great. But we may as well talk about stimulating the economy by wishing everyone a pony. (Bronies, do not even start.)
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Old 09-09-2011, 04:57 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

All I know is that if its "business as usual" saxby chambliss one of the senators from the great state of georgia will not support it.

Saxby said that yesterday. He fleshed out his position saying that we really need more tax cuts for the rich in order to spur the economy and spending cuts, and if obama thinks he can spend his way out of the recession, he won't get Saxby's support.


I thought about putting this in my republicans say stupid shit thread.
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

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Originally Posted by beyelzu View Post
All I know is that if its "business as usual" saxby chambliss one of the senators from the great state of georgia will not support it.

Saxby said that yesterday. He fleshed out his position saying that we really need more tax cuts for the rich in order to spur the economy....
I will not vote for more business as usual! Instead, I demand business as usual!
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

:mlpomg:
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:33 AM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

Payroll tax reduction: this is about $240 billion of the plan, according to the article in the OP and the NYT. Stimulate economy? Some. A portion of this money will go back into the economy. A portion of this will also go to what people have already been doing as they see credit contracting and social safety nets being diminished: paying down debt. Nothing wrong with paying down debt, but that is not spending; it does not help the economy. Part of this plan also has already been in effect, so that part is not going to further stimulate- it is baseline with today's economy. However, compared with the $288 billion dedicated to tax incentives (total business and individuals) in the 2009-2011 stimulus bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act), that's doubling tax incentives for 2012.

The disturbing side of this for me is that Payroll taxes fund Social Security and Medicare. It is fine to say that the Payroll tax system is regressive and propose reforms, but what I don't want to see is these programs not being funded, and then being told, "See? Social Security is a failure/ failing!" The tax burden is at a 50+ year low, while spending is considered somehow radical now; this makes cutting revenues seem like a dumb-ass way to proceed, except to exacerbate the OMG DEBT folderol for future austerity arguments.

$50 billion (BBC) to $140 billion (NYT- I think they are including money to states) for infrastructure- schools, roads, bridges. This will stimulate the economy, but we are currently just finishing two years of stimulus that included similar infrastructure spending- $105 billion over two years. I am glad to see this kind of spending in any plan, but I think this is not ambitious enough.

$85 billion in aid to state and local governments: this will help, as the states are really struggling. CBPP:
Quote:
In fiscal year 2012 some 42 states and the District of Columbia have closed, or are working to close, $103 billion in budget gaps. These gaps come on top of the large shortfalls the states faced in fiscal years 2009 through 2011. States will continue to struggle to find the revenue needed to support critical public services like education, health care, and human services for a number of years. Among other impacts, this means that state actions will continue to be a drag on the national economy, threatening hundreds of thousands of private- and public-sector jobs, reducing the job creation that otherwise would be expected to occur.
The 2009 stimulus provided $144 billion over 2 years for the same.

The BBC mentions $49 billion for extending unemployment benefits for one year. This is a good thing, as that will be immediately returned and multiplied in the economy.

My concern is that a lot of this jobs bill is baseline for where we are at right now. We are just finishing two years of stimulus, which is broadly accepted as having helped keep the depression from being worse than it is currently. That said, just to get a general comparison, the previous stimulus was $787 billion for two years- call it $393.5 billion a year. This new jobs bill is $447 billion for one year- that's a total increase of $53.5 billion, assuming that the bill doesn't decrease in size. Most of this jobs bill is continuations of our current situation.

Paul Krugman believes as-is it would produce a "significant dent in unemployment"- other early estimates were that this could create $1.9 million jobs. That's 158,000 jobs a month. For perspective, the last eight months average out to 110,000 jobs a month.

All this also doesn't account for what happens when the super committee manages to cut $1.5 trillion plus the $447 billion of the jobs bill from the federal budget, or what happens at the end of 2012 when this jobs bill ends.

And bet you there will be a corporate tax holiday in the final bill.

The Republicans need only "negotiate" $53.5 billion off this jobs bill to come out with continuity on our current situation.
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:31 AM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

Okey dokey. Let's see how this turned out.

The original Jobs Act proposed by Obama in September of 2011 stalled and died in October 2011. So Obama's White House broke up elements of the Jobs Act and tried to pass it in pieces.

There was the Teachers and First Responders Back to Work Act of 2011: this did not pass.

There was the Rebuild America Jobs Act, which did not pass.

The next portion, HR 674, did pass. That was a repeal of the automatic 3% withholding rule for payments made to government contractors. Why was that rule there? Bloomberg:
Quote:
Congress passed the withholding requirement in 2006 to reduce tax evasion among government contractors.
It isn't clear whether that 2006 rule was effective or not, but certainly, as Bloomberg points out, government contractors backed the heck out of this repeal bill. It might not have passed by itself, though, so the Senate Democrats tacked on a one-year continuation of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit for businesses who hire returned military veterans.

By the way, the estimated cost of repealing the 3% rule? Again, via Bloomberg:
Quote:
Repealing the withholding measure would deprive the Treasury of $11 billion in revenue over 10 years, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. Lawmakers agreed to offset the forgone revenue by changing a provision of the 2010 health-care law.
So here's the deal: reducing taxation on government contractors, and reducing tax revenue. Notice that the way this is going to be paid for:
Quote:
The offset would include the nontaxable portion of Social Security benefits in the definition of income used to calculate eligibility for government health-care programs. It would move some people from Medicaid into subsidized coverage in new health-insurance exchanges and would push others out of subsidized coverage.
So the solution was to offer less Medicare and less subsidized coverage. So that government contractors could pay less taxes. Brilliant! Thanks, Congress and Obama!

So what's left is the last portion. the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startup) Act. This was just signed into law by Obama, after passing through Congress.

Hey, remember when we figured out that part of the problems that helped create the the Savings and Loan Scandal, the Dot-Com bubble and the Housing Bubble centered around deregulation? Well, forget all that. Because you know what the JOBS Act is? It is a big old deregulation give-away. Matt Taibbi breaks it down here:
Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse
Quote:
The "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" (in addition to everything else, the Act has an annoying, redundant title) will very nearly legalize fraud in the stock market.

In fact, one could say this law is not just a sweeping piece of deregulation that will have an increase in securities fraud as an accidental, ancillary consequence. No, this law actually appears to have been specifically written to encourage fraud in the stock markets.
Taibbi breaks down all the various odious proposals that basically give Wall Street the green light to lie their asses off with no penalties. The cherry on the cake is that many people wrote Taibbi to complain and say that it isn't really Obama's doing, that this is all the fault of those darn Republicans. So then Taibbi wrote another long piece detailing exactly how the bill came into being and was passed, and how no, actually, Obama's White House had plenty of input and was centrally involved in this deregulation. He also pointed out the difference between simplifying rules to help start-ups and encouraging liars to lie their asses off for profit, since there are no legal consequences:
Yes, Virginia, this is Obama's JOBS Act
Quote:
No one is arguing that America's regulatory framework isn’t convoluted and imperfect, or that raising money for small companies hasn’t been a severe pain in the ass for quite some time. Undoubtedly this new law will make it easier for new firms to attract startup capital and go public, both good things.

But this bill accomplishes those things at the cost of slashing investor protections to a degree that isn’t just unnecessary, but stone-cold crazy. It includes ideas that just ten or fifteen years ago were conclusively proven to result in wide-scale fraud.

For instance, if this bill is supposedly about increasing access to capital for small businesses, why do we also need to repeal the conflict-of-interest ban on bank analysts talking up startup firms in an attempt to gain their investment banking business? Wasn’t it just ten minutes ago that Eliot Spitzer had to drag the entire financial services industry into court for pumping up worthless stocks in order to get their business?

People have apparently forgotten just how crooked the IPO market was during the tech boom. Banks and underwriters were openly, nakedly, offering to sell their research in exchange for investment banking business. Piper Jaffray, for instance, made a pitch to be the investment banker for a medical startup called TheraSense Inc. by including in its pitch materials mock copies of mock research reports – reports that included a "strong buy" recommendation. The "mock" report contained drooling descriptions of the hypothetical sales of TheraSense, calling the company’s fictional sales "nothing short of breathtaking."

Piper Jaffray won TheraSense’s business, pocketed $3,785,512 in investment banking fees, and promptly made good on its promise by issuing a "strong buy" recommendation on the stock.

Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, Chase, Lehman, Morgan Stanley: they all did essentially the same stuff. Many of them tied the compensation of their analysts directly to their ability to attract investment banking business, i.e. how much they were willing to prostitute themselves for fees.
Here's some of the fingerprints on this JOBS Act:
Quote:
The Republicans certainly contributed to the JOBS Act, and sponsored the original House bill, and dreamed up some of the final version’s more revolting provisions. But the meat of the bill grew out of three different Obama administration working groups.

The first place to look is in Tim Geithner’s Treasury Department. About a year ago, in March of 2011, the Treasury Department held a conference to discuss how to provide small companies with access to capital. At that conference Treasury decided to convene a working group called the "IPO Task Force."

The group ended up being chaired by Kate Mitchell, the former head of the National Venture Capital Association, a trade group which, obviously, represents venture capitalists.

...>snip<...
Despite the fact that Obama had showered Wall Street with trillions in bailouts (and his Fed appointee Ben Bernanke had given out $16 trillion more in secret emergency lending), the president in the first years of his first term took heat for being too tough on the financial services sector, which particularly objected to the presence of grumpy, down-on-fraud ex-Fed chief Paul Volcker on the president’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

So Obama basically sacked Volcker to appease Wall Street and renamed the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, calling it the "President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness." He also made a key decision at that time in putting Gene Sperling, a former adviser to both Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, in charge of his National Economic Council.

Sperling was a key figure in one of the great deregulatory efforts in recent American history, serving as Summers’s key negotiator during the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Incidentally, just before he took the key Obama post, Sperling earned $887,727 from Goldman Sachs in 2008 for his "advice." His deregulatory fervor would become another factor in the passage of the JOBS Act.

After changing the name of the Economic Recovery Committee to the Jobs Council, Obama made a radical switch of the group’s leadership. No more would it be run by a tough-on-crime curmudgeon like Volcker, who complained about the "moral hazard" of massive public assistance to banks coupled with weakened regulation and enforcement; the new council would have a different flavor.

Instead, it would be run by General Electric CEO Jeffery Immelt, a man who basically personified Volcker’s "moral hazard" concerns.
Immelt collected tens of millions in salaries and bonuses for running a firm that a) came crying to the state for over a hundred billion dollars in bailouts, guarantees and surreptitious Fed support in the years after the crash, and b) was under investigation at the time of Immelt’s appointment for a variety of crimes.

Anyway, some time after the crash, as Obama’s own SEC was working out how much to fine Immelt’s own company for (among other things) accounting fraud and rigging municipal bond bids, Obama decided to put Immelt in charge of a task force that ultimately would recommend a slackening of regulatory enforcement as a means to create jobs.

Immelt’s Jobs Council would eventually make a series of recommendations to the president, including among other things a revamping (read: a weakening) of environmental laws, a slackening of immigration rules to allow high-skill immigrants to stay in the U.S., a reduction in the onerous corporate tax burden (Immelt’s GE, by the way, not only paid no federal taxes between 2004 and 2009, it received a tax credit of over $4 billion, despite earning $26 billion in American profits), and a new approach to startups that would allow new companies more access to capital.
...>snip<...
The third participant in the creation of the JOBS Act came from inside the SEC. The Commission had a task force called the "Advisory Committee on Small And Emerging Companies," which played its own role in forming the JOBS Act.

A curious feature of the JOBS Act is that many portions of this law could have been instituted unilaterally by the SEC, which has had this discretion but for years has chosen not to exercise it, because even the SEC knows many of these ideas suck. In fact, some of this new "Small and Emerging Companies" committee’s ideas were actually policies that the SEC had already tried out and discarded, because they didn’t work.

For instance, the committee in early January proposed rolling back the ban on general advertising of new public offerings. The SEC already lifted the ban on this sort of advertising once before, in 1992.

But seven years later, after numerous cases of unsophisticated investors being duped by misleading advertising, the SEC, at the height of the tech boom, reversed its own policy, admitting that the change had led to a surge in so-called “microcap fraud”:

The whole thing is worth reading.

So congratulations, America. The Jobs Act of 2011 that was supposed to help the economy, is instead mostly a give-away to government contractors and a license to steal to Wall Street, because, you know, onerous regulation. With the blessings of both parties and the Obama White House.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

And all you'll ever hear about it is how Obama is a Communist Socialist Marxist trying to destroy America.
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Old 04-17-2012, 02:20 AM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

Quote:
plus long overdue infrastructure investment will be a win.
Depends on the infrastucture being invested. The California High Speed Rail boondoggle vs something practical like a commuter light rail system.

NTM
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:02 AM
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And all you'll ever hear about it is how Obama is a Communist Socialist Marxist trying to destroy America.
See, this is the thing: Obama passed the health care bill basically straight out of the Heritage Foundation playbook. He increased the amount of soldiers in the foreign wars and added and increased covert wars. The taxation rate in the US is the lowest in 50 years. Almost every economic adviser and his inner circle are Wall Streeters and/ or crony capitalist revolving door players. Which brings one to ask the question:

Why would a US president of the Democratic Party ever shift to the Right or appease the Republicans in matters of policy, except at the eleventh hour when in final give-and-take negotiations?

Seriously, Obama could nuke Iran and abolish Social Security and Welfare tomorrow, and the Republicans would still say that Obama was a socialist who is weak on foreign policy. It's a script they read from, especially during election years.

I mean why the hell not be a socialist if you're a (D) president? I mean except of course that then you might have to have some principles and stand for something.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:21 AM
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Default Re: "Jobs Act"

I imagine it is because you want some of the money too.
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