During the Labor Day weekend, President Barack Obama proposed for the U.S. government to spend $50 billion during the next six years to upgrade the nation’s roads, airports, and railways. That’s in addition to $105 billion that was budgeted for similar projects in the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“fiscal stimulus bill”) that was enacted into law on Feb. 17, 2009.
According to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, the $50 billion infrastructure spending plan "will put people back to work immediately."
Although the Obama administration made similar claims during early 2009, the U.S. economy has experienced approximately 3.2 million job losses since the passage of the 2009 fiscal stimulus bill.
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As an interesting side note, less than half of the funds allocated to transportation projects by the 2009 fiscal stimulus bill have been spent thus far on transportation-related infrastructure projects. Hence, the likely success of Obama’s new infrastructure spending proposal seems questionable in regards to a way “to put people back to work immediately.”
Separately, members of Obama’s administration said Monday that the president will propose on Wednesday a permanent extension of research and development tax credits for businesses in an effort to boost job growth. Yet, Obama has held steady to his proposal for the government to increase income tax rates on many of those same businesses.
Meanwhile, in characteristic form, Obama praised “working people” — union members — for their hard work in a speech that he gave Monday in Milwaukee while failing to acknowledge the long hours that many of the people who provide jobs to those persons work every day and the risks that those business owners take to succeed in their endeavors.
In that same speech, Obama said, “"I'm going to keep fighting, every single day, every single hour, every single minute, to turn this economy around; to put people back to work; to renew the American Dream for your families and for future generations."
That’s an interesting statement considering the fact that Obama has spent all or part of 26 days "on vacation" during his first year as president, according to CBS News.
In reality, Obama has done little to encourage U.S. businesses to increase the sizes of their workforce or to stimulate economic growth. While some of the measures proposed by Obama during the past two years likely prevented the U.S. economy from falling into a depression, most economists would agree that increasing taxes during a recession — which is what Obama is currently proposing — is a bad idea.
Meanwhile, most small business owners — businesses that created 64 percent of all new jobs in the United States during the past 15 years — seem to agree that the types of tax cuts that Obama is currently proposing will not lead them to create any new jobs.
For example, the National Federation of Independent Businesses, which represents small business owners, announced on Aug. 10 that the confidence level of small business owners declined during July to the lowest level in four months, led by declining expectations for economic growth.
On a positive front, the type of rhetoric that has regularly been promulgated by the Obama administration could result in many of Obama’s Congressional supporters being kicked out of Congress in November. That would likely be a positive development for the longer-term direction of both the economy and stock prices.
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