US: Obama to Propose $300 Billion Plan to Boost Economy

Posted September 7th, 2011 at 3:41 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama's plan to jump-start the lagging United States economy and create jobs reportedly could cost $300 billion.

U.S. news media report the price tag and say Mr. Obama will lay out a variety of tax cuts, aid for unemployed workers and construction spending when he speaks to a joint session of Congress Thursday night.

White House spokesman Jay Carney refused to share any details of the speech with reporters during a scheduled briefing Wednesday. He said only that the plan would focus on measures that would have an immediate impact on economic growth and job creation, and that the proposals have previously enjoyed support from both Democrats and Republicans.

Carney said the president will call on lawmakers to act quickly on his proposals, saying Congress needs to “get its act together and do something.”

The Democratic president's plan is likely to meet with considerable opposition from Republican lawmakers who are opposed to increased spending by the debt-ridden government. In advance of the speech, some Republicans say that the proposals represent a reprise of his failed economic policies.

News accounts say Mr. Obama wants to renew financial assistance for workers who have been unemployed for extended periods. Earlier this week, the president said he wants to extend for a year the 2 percent payroll tax cut for all workers that is set to expire at the end of this year.

In addition, the president plans to seek approval for the same tax cut for employers, and add a tax credit for companies that hire more workers. Mr. Obama also plans to call for new spending to fix the country's aging and crumbling roads, bridges and schools.

The country's economy has virtually stalled, growing at a slow pace, and last month added no new jobs. About 14 million workers are unemployed and millions more are working part-time or in jobs they consider below their skill level.