Obama says 'Pass this jobs bill.' But what's actually in the bill?
There's a lot in President Obama's 200-page bill for Congress and the public to chew over. Here's a look at the main points in Obama's American Jobs Act.
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• Business tax cuts. Obama would give a partial payroll tax cut to all employers, with the benefits targeted especially toward small businesses, for next year. He also proposes a complete payroll tax holiday for new jobs or wage increases. The overall cost: $65 billion.Skip to next paragraph
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• "100 percent expensing." This $5 billion proposal would be a one-year spur for businesses to make investments, by allowing them to quickly deduct the full value of spending on facilities or equipment.
Investments and aid to states
• Aid to states. Obama would devote $35 billion to aid designed to prevent layoffs at schools, police stations, and fire departments where local governments face budget shortfalls.
• Infrastructure spending. The bill includes $50 billion for repairing highways, airports, and urban transit systems. About $4 billion of the money would go toward high-speed rail.
• A National Infrastructure Bank. This $10 billion effort would offer loans – up to no more than half a project's cost – to spur additional investments in transport, water, or energy systems. The money would partner with state or local government and private dollars.
• Public school modernization. Some $30 billion would go toward everything from repair and renovation to computer labs, with 40 percent of the funds "directed toward the 100 largest high-need public school districts," the White House says.
• "Project Rebuild." This would be a $15 billion effort to "repair and repurpose" homes and commercial buildings in communities hit hard hit by foreclosures and sagging property values. The goal would be to reduce blight and create construction jobs.
Extra help for the unemployed
• Unemployment insurance changes. Obama calls for $49 billion to prevent 6 million jobless Americans from losing unemployment insurance, and to make the UI system more flexible. Some UI money could go to employers for "work sharing" plans that prevent layoffs. And some money would go to state experiments such as "bridge to work" training programs.
• Tax credit for hiring the long-term unemployed. This credit of up to $4,000 per hire would cost an estimated $8 billion.
• Help for jobless veterans. A new "returning heroes" tax credit of up to $5,600 would encourage hiring of veterans who have been unemployed six months or longer. Obama also seeks to expand a similar "wounded warriors" credit for firms that hire vets who have service-connected disabilities.
• Jobs for teens and low-income workers. Some $5 billion would support summer and year-round jobs through a "pathways back to work fund."
• A ban on discrimination. Citing "recent reports [of] companies that are increasingly expressing preferences for applicants who already have a job," the White House proposal would make such a preference unlawful. The bill would prohibit "employers and employment agencies from disqualifying an individual from employment opportunities because of that individual’s status as unemployed."
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