Hoping to stem the tide of poor economic news and boost his falling poll numbers, President Barack Obama proposed a $447 billion jobs plan to Congress on Thursday evening.
Titled the American Jobs Act, the proposal includes more than $250 billion in tax incentives for small businesses and employers, according to administration estimates. The rest of the money would be devoted to infrastructure spending, state aid, unemployment insurance, and neighborhood rehabilitation.
The announcement of the job plan is getting mixed reviews from members of the Ag Retailers Association.
“I think a jobs initiative is needed to help prevent America from slipping into a double dip recession,” said Steven Krikava, Director of Government Relations-Public Affairs, Land O’Lakes, on ARA’s online forum. “I wish the President’s initial stimulus package had done a better job of addressing infrastructure needs; perhaps if it had, we wouldn’t be needing this new jobs initiative. And I’m worried about how we pay for it.”
During the annoucement, President Obama said there should be nothing controversial about the piece of legislation. “Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans — including many who sit here tonight,” he said. “And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.”
Krikava said he was hopeful because the Republican leadership in the House is indicating they will work with the President on the jobs initiative. “We need more bipartisan cooperation or this will just become another example of partisan gamesmanship, and that won’t do anyone any good,” he said.
Dennis Stahl, Eastern Regional Sales Manager, GVM Inc. also commented on the jobs plan: “I believe President Obama is trying to force the Republicans’ hand,” he said. “He is trying to blame the right for not doing the right thing. He says the same thing over and over again. I was not happy with his speech. We do need to do something, but it has to be the right thing. We need to cut taxes for larger corporations, so they can bring large business back to the USA and out of foreign countries.”
ARA’s Richard Gupton is encouraging members to give their thoughts on the American Jobs Act. To comment, click here.