This article was last updated on January 12
President Obama has announced three proposals intended to turn around the nation’s ailing job market and spur employment growth, including strengthening investments to small businesses who are finding it hard to get loans in tight credit markets, upgrading infrastructure across the nation and promoting home-energy efficiency projects.
“Having finally moved into positive territory when it comes to economic growth, our biggest challenge now is making sure that job growth matches up with economic growth,” Obama told reporters at the White House yesterday. “The president is not going to unveil the silver-bullet idea” that will bring back the more than 7.2 million jobs that have been lost since the start of the recession, White house press secretary Gibbs said. On the White House blog, called today’s speech a “stepping stone” and that it “will not represent the totality of our plans for continued economic recovery.”
The president also will call for increasing the investment in infrastructure through building and modernizing highways, railways, bridges and tunnels. He also will propose a new program that provides rebates for consumers who retrofit their homes to become more energy efficient. This is in addition to the existing $1500 energy rebate and cash for appliances program
The president also will call for using some of the $200 billion in Troubled Asset Relief Program to help pay down the $1.4 trillion budget deficit. One week after taking his economic message on the road, Mr. Obama is in Washington on Tuesday, offering an outline for his plan for Congress to help boost the job market next year.
The president will argue that using some of the TARP money to help unlock credit for small businesses is in line with the original intent of the program, which was passed in October 2008 to avoid a collapse of the banking system. Republicans in Congress disagree, saying that using the bailout funds would amount to a second economic stimulus.
“Using bailout funds for another spending spree would violate both current law and our pledge to return every dollar to the taxpayers,” said Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader. “Americans’ patience is running awfully thin with politicians who promise jobs, but deliver only more debt.”“TARP was not sold to the American people as a revolving slush fund,” said Representative Randy Neugebauer of Texas, the No. 2 Republican on the House Financial Services Committee. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Neugebauer and 102 other House Republicans said the program should be allowed to expire at the end of the year and unused or repaid money should be returned to taxpayers.
The above initiatives are Mr. Obama’s latest effort to draw attention to the economy and fend off critics who say that a double dip recession could result next year. I’ll provide more updates on the initiatives when available, which you keep up to date with by subscribing (free) via Email or RSS to get the latest news.
More on the Stimulus Programs:
$800/$400 Making Working Pay Tax Credit
2010 Extension of $8,000 New Home Buyer Credit
Tax Breaks in Obama’s $15 billion Small Business Plan
Key Dates for Stimulus Payments
New Car Stimulus Deduction