Monday, September 12, 2011

Jobs Bill Offers New Hope

The Obama Administration sent the Jobs Bill to Congress today. Tonight, Vice-President Biden was on a national phone call with educators explaining aspects of the Jobs Bill. Education is a major part of the bill because the Administration continues to recognize education as key to our future, because we have lost 129,000 education jobs since January, and because educators are prime examples of middle class workers.

The bill has $30 billion to employee 280,000 educators for the school years 2011-2012, and 2012-2013. This type of stimulus is at work, right now in Delaware. Delaware is today utilizing money they saved from the 2010 Education Jobs Act to keep educators working this year.

$30 billion will be used to renovate our crumbling schools. $10 billion of this money will be distributed directly to school districts utilizing Title 1 funding formula. The other $15 billion will be sent to the states to allocate for school building and repairing. The average age of a US school is forty and the buildings are notoriously energy inefficient. It is estimated that we might save $2 to $4 billion on energy costs with new and renovated buildings.

$5 billion is in the legislation for community colleges although their need is much greater as demand for their services have increased with the bad economy.

Other middle class help in the bill includes deeper cuts to payroll tax and foreclosure relief.

Small business tax cuts are included as well as tax credits for those businesses hiring veterans and the long-term unemployed.

For those that have caught the fiscal conservative bug, this bill is paid for by closing tax loopholes. For example, in spite of year after year of grossly high profits, we continue to give oil companies tax breaks worth $37 billion. We also allow hedge fund managers (who actually detract, not add to the economy) to be taxed at 15% instead of the 28% rate that common folks pay on earnings. Both of these loopholes are closed by the law.

This stimulus package creates about 1.9 million jobs. The entire debt ceiling/ deficit reduction fiasco created zero jobs.

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