American Jobs Act = Small Business Growth?

Author: Martha Shaw
Published: September 19, 2011 at 12:20 pm

We’ve had a bit of time to digest President Obama’s “American Jobs Act” and its many incentives and proposals. Looking at the Act that the President, with good intentions, must obtain Congressional approval for, we find the following components:

• Tax cuts to help America’s small businesses hire and grow
• Putting Americans back to work
• Rebuilding and modernizing America
• Tax relief for every American worker
• Tax relief for American families
• Additional deficit reduction to pay for the Act

Interesting. One bit of information leaps off the page. There’s a proposal for a $4,000 tax credit for companies hiring long-term unemployed workers. We steadily hear the figures on unemployment claimants. The numbers are far from accurate. Why? There are thousands among us in need of jobs who aren’t reflected in numbers derived from unemployment compensation claims since so many do not qualify for such benefits. What about them? There is also the very worthy inclusion in the Act of an incentive for hiring veterans returning to the job market, yet where’s the provision to increase their marketable skillset?

The Act’s focus on small business is plain to see. Can this Act put Americans back to work? Is this Act even good for small businesses? Is the pretty picture the Act presents reality-based? There remain far more questions than answers. Does this Act have what is needed to re-energize an economy that isn’t moving? Can this Act be self-supporting? Is there hope of it obtaining the support of Congress? Is this just another front page story that will quickly become just another of many stories that fall to the back pages, forgotten, leaving nothing resolved as we continue to seek solutions?

We have a $447 billion dollar bill which Congress is urged to pass. It combines new spending with tax cuts. Haven’t we heard such things before – in different packaging? We hear that this will not increase the federal deficit. We hear of long-term deficit reduction plans . We hear of a 50 percent reduction in payroll taxes. There’s an emphasis on new small businesses. Fine, but that takes money and where is it to come from? It’s unlikely that capital will come from banks. Much has been written about lending, or the lack thereof.

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Article Author: Martha Shaw

A freelance writer and part time teacher of creative writing now living in Charleston South Carolina, I was raised in MA where my previous career was as a banking professional. I was also formerly a columnist for the Chelsea Weekly Newspaper. …

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