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Details are slowly emerging on President Barack Obama’s jobs and debt plan, a day after the White House leaked that the he will deliver a major address on the issues shortly after labour Day. The president will use the opportunity to encourage the “Super Committee” to embrace economic stimulus in addition to cutting the federal deficit, according to administration sources.
POLITICO reports this morning that his plan will be revenue neutral, quoting a senior administration official saying Obama “plans to pay for every penny of it” with offset savings.
That means the plan will not include comprehensive tax reform, which Democratic sources say will be attempted outside the Super Committee to coincide with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in 2013.
A revenue neutral bill will also ease passage through Congress — where GOP lawmakers are unwilling to accept any tax increases — assuming Republicans and Democrats can agree on a shared ‘baseline’ to judge the changes against.
According to administration sources, Obama will likely call for extending the payroll tax cut (a measure he said was necessary to save the economy 1 million jobs), extending unemployment benefits, and an infrastructure bank.
Obama will also renew calls for ratifying free trade agreements and passing patent reform — both of which won’t have an immediate effect on the economy.
The New York Times reports that Obama will also try to prevent teacher layoffs resulting from the expiration of funding from the stimulus bill, while the Los Angeles Times reports that the president is looking to increase federal funding for school construction and create a tax break for hiring.
None of these plans rise to the administration’s promise that Obama’s proposal will not be recycled — as Obama has called for all of these things in one forum or another — but in combination, the bill could be more substantial than the “grand bargain” he and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) tried to reach agreement on last month.