The Jobs Bill: What's in it for You?
On Monday in his State of the Union address, President Obama promised relief for the nation's unemployment crisis with a new jobs bill and budget for it. On Sunday he outlined the details of the bill, which earmarks $100 billion specifically toward getting Americans back to work. That's just part of the $3.8-trillion dollar federal budget he introduced. The following points could have a direct impact on your own, personal ability to make ends meet:
1. $100 billion will be set aside for creating jobs in infrastructure (transportation, reservoirs, etc.) and clean energy industries, and provide for small business tax breaks. $33 billion of that will go to a new Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Cut, which is designed to encourage hiring and job creation.
2. Higher taxes for families making more than $250,000 per year. Tax cuts instituted in 2001 and 2003 for these higher incomes will expire in 2011, which could generate an estimated $678 billion over the next ten years.
3. Public school funding for primary and secondary education will be increased by $3 billion, and $1.3 billion will be set aside for the Race to the Top Program. These moves will increase hiring and salaries in public education.
4. College students will get a break from the $17 billion set aside for Pell Grant funding.
5. Some capital gains taxes would be eliminated, and there would be additional tax breaks for oil, gas and coal companies, the latter of which are designed to bring down energy costs for the average American.
Of course, this is just a wish list at this point. This budget will have to pass the House and the Senate, with each adding and subtracting a little here, a little there. Obama is hoping this budget will appeal to both parties. Still, there will probably be some resistance to tax increases for the wealthy. Also, look for additional funding for teachers, police officers, firefighters and other public workers to be added.