Obama Takes His Job Plan On the Road

Posted September 13th, 2011 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Ohio to build public support for his $447 billion proposal aimed at creating jobs and boosting the nation's sluggish economy.

Mr. Obama, a Democrat, will speak at a high school in the capital, Columbus, near the congressional district represented by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, a frequent critic of the president. Mr. Obama is expected to promote an initiative in his proposal that calls for spending up to $25 billion to modernize 35,000 public schools across the nation.

Critics lashed out at the plan designed to raise revenue by taxing the richest Americans and corporations. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, said Tuesday the administration is not interested in “economic policies that will actually work.”

The second-highest ranking House Republican, Eric Cantor, criticized the proposal for its tax increases, but encouraged Republicans to find the parts of the proposal they support.

The president called on lawmakers to pass the American Jobs Act immediately. He sent the legislation to Congress on Monday. The plan calls for spending billions of dollars to improve the nation's roads and other public works projects, while increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

White House budget director Jacob Lew told reporters Monday that the proposals to increase taxes on wealthier Americans will raise about $400 billion.

Mr. Obama also wants to reduce payroll taxes paid for by American workers and companies that go toward the federal government's Social Security pension program.

Critics say the legislation amounts to another “economic stimulus” package that would further add to the nation's growing debt. But the president said Monday the jobs bill is fully paid for and would not add to the federal debt.

The president is to promote the bill in North Carolina later in the week.

Recent U.S. government figures have shown job creation at a standstill, as concerns grow about the possibility of a second recession.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent. About 14 million workers are unemployed and millions more are working part-time or in jobs they consider below their skill level.