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Obama to propose $300 billion to jump-start jobs

Updated: November 16, 2011 1:30AM



WASHINGTON — With the economy weak and the public seething, President Barack Obama is expected to propose $300 billion in tax cuts and federal spending Thursday night to get Americans working again. Republicans offered Tuesday to compromise with him on jobs — but also assailed his plans in advance of his prime-time speech.

According to people familiar with the White House deliberations, two of the biggest measures in the president’s proposals for 2012 are expected to be a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut for workers and an extension of expiring jobless benefits. Together those two would total about $170 billion.

The White House also is considering a tax credit for businesses that hire the unemployed. That could cost about $30 billion. Obama has also called for public works projects, such as school construction. Advocates of that plan have called for spending $50 billion, but the White House proposal is expected to be smaller.

Obama also is expected to continue for one year a tax break for businesses that allows them to deduct the full value of new equipment. The president and Congress negotiated that provision into law for 2011 last December.

Though Obama has said he intends to propose long-term deficit reduction measures to cover the upfront costs of his jobs plan, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama would not lay out a wholesale deficit reduction plan in his speech.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell predicted Obama’s Thursday night speech to Congress on jobs legislation would include “more of the same failed approach that’s only made things worse over the past few years.”

Casting himself as America’s CEO, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Tuesday outlined his sweeping economic plan to would reduce regulations and taxes on companies, sanction China over its currency practices and weaken the clout of labor unions.

Romney’s plan calls for reducing or eliminating several taxes, extracting more U.S. oil, coal and natural gas, expanding trade pacts and slashing federal spending.

Democrats called Romney’s plan wrong-headed and doomed to fail. Taxes already are near historic lows, they noted, and many employers say weak consumer demand is more troubling than taxes or regulation.

AP



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