President Barack Obama Thursday proposed a $447 billion package of tax cuts and spending measures aimed at spurring growth and hiring. Here are some of the key elements of his American Jobs Act, which he announced in a rare joint session of Congress:
EMPLOYEE PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
Obama is proposing a $175 billion one-year extension and expansion of the employee payroll tax holiday that would halve the tax rate to 3.1 percent in 2012.
EMPLOYER PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY
Obama is seeking $65 billion to encourage small businesses to hire more workers. This includes halving employer payroll taxes to 3.1 percent for the first $5 million of a company's wage bill in 2012, which the administration says will reach 98 percent of small businesses. He also wants a complete payroll tax holiday for increasing the size of the payroll by up to $50 million above the prior year, either by hiring new workers or raising the salaries of the existing labor force.
EXTENDING 100 PERCENT COMPANY EXPENSING INTO 2012
- At a cost of $5 billion, Obama wants to extend a 100 percent expensing tax break for companies, allowing them to immediately take a tax deduction for investment in new plant and equipment.
$85 BLN IN AID FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
- $35 billion to keep teachers, firefighters and police officers in their jobs, of which $30 billion would go to schools and $5 billion to police and firefighters.
- $30 billion to modernize schools and community colleges.
- $15 billion to rehabilitate and refurbish vacant and foreclosed homes.
- $5 billion to help low-income youths and adult workers, supporting summer and year-round jobs for young people and support subsidized work for unemployed low-income workers.
ROAD, RAIL AND AVIATION INFRASTRUCTURE SPENDING
- $50 billion to invest in highways, transit, rail and aviation, including upgrading U.S. airports, supporting Nextgen Air Traffic modernization.
- $10 billion to capitalize an infrastructure bank to leverage private and public infrastructure investment "without earmarks or traditional influence," the White House says.
EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, BRIDGE TO WORK
- $49 billion for a one-year extension of long-term unemployment benefits that would otherwise expire, which the White House says prevents 6 million jobless Americans from losing benefits. Also, reforms to the jobless aid system and a "bridge to work" program to help get unemployed back to work.
- $8 billion for tax credits for long-term unemployed.
© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.