As Labor Day approaches, speculation about what President Obama will include in his announced speech is bound to increase. Indeed, since the President announced that he will lay out a detailed jobs plan after Labor Day, many have begun wondering what he will suggest as possible solutions to a languishing job market. (He’s already laid out some plans to boost rural jobs development.) On top of that, President Obama has also promised to provide some specifics about how to reduce the national deficit.
Of course, I can’t help but join in some of the speculation. Here are some of the things that I think are likely to crop up, based on some of the things the President has been saying in television interviews and speeches delivered on his recent multi-state tour:
More Tax Cuts and Credits – For Some
In order to help stimulate hiring, the President has been trying to push through some tax cuts and tax credits. He’s been talking about extending the payroll tax cut, but it’s unclear how this might help jobs, since the tax cut is on the employee side, rather than the employer side. However, perhaps an extension of the payroll tax cut would be extended to the employer side as well, providing some savings for employers looking to hire.
What is likely to be more helpful to businesses would be tax credits for hiring workers, and that is a very real possibility for the President’s post Labor Day speech. He has mentioned the possibility of tax credits for hiring veterans, and that might also help a group of people that has been especially hard hit by the recession. He is also likely, I think, to stress the current tax credit structure for small business employers that provide health care as a benefit.
We do probably need better infrastructure. Honestly, when you look at the state of some of our infrastructure, you might be forgiven for thinking that we are not, in fact, the wealthiest country in the world. Our claims at being innovators, and being ahead of the times tend to fall flat when you look at our infrastructure. I expect that September’s speech will include more details on President Obama’s suggestion that we invest more into fixing our infrastructure. Obama has been a supporter of an infrastructure bank that would help fund projects designed to fix America’s infrastructure problems.
Not only would that be a great boon to our society in general, it could also go a long way toward immediate job creation. The ability to put people to work fixing the infrastructure might give the labor market a swift kick start. An ongoing bank might ensure that the money is there to continue upkeep on our infrastructure, providing some long term jobs.
Of course, in addition to increased jobs, President Obama is also preparing to share his plans for the economy, and deficit reduction. While he is likely to talk about the importance of making hard choices (politicians love to talk about making hard choices, but they all — both parties — try as hard as they can to avoid making and implementing them), and mention the need for spending cuts, I wonder if he will once again try to put forward a plan to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. It’s likely that he will, since many of his job creation measures will need to be paid for in some way, and there is only so much program cutting that Americans will agree to. Revenue will need to be raised at some point.
What do you think President Obama will talk about?