Why Obama and others are suddenly rolling out jobs plans
Whether it's Labor Day, the new elections season, or a reflection of Americans' priorities, everyone has a jobs proposal: from Obama and Boehner to Huntsman and Romney, the list goes on.
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The procedural problem is that most Republicans (including Huntsman) want to do it on a "revenue-neutral" basis, while Democrats want to reap some extra tax revenue in what Obama calls a "balanced" effort to reduce future deficits. Also, the two sides differ on how much of the tax burden should be born by the richest Americans.Skip to next paragraph
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As long as neither party controls both Congress and the White House, new legislation on the issue is difficult.
And that leads to the big question: With all the current focus on job policies, will anything actually happen that makes a difference to the economy?
The possibility shouldn't be ruled out, but several hurdles would need to be overcome. The first is partisanship. Obama says he'll propose measures that can win bipartisan support, but it's unclear if Republicans will embrace his proposals. One week after Obama addresses both houses of Congress, House Speaker John Boehner is planning his own jobs speech.
Second, even if policies are enacted, they may be modest in scope, given that the two parties have agreed to a fiscal path that focuses on reducing deficits.
But some moves that could bolster long-term economic growth – such as tax reform – need not cost a lot of money, and could begin bearing fruit fairly quickly.
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