Obama to send his stimulus proposal to Congress today

President Barack Obama will send his latest gimmick - the $447 billion stimulus plan - to Congress today in hopes that they will quickly take it up and pass it:

President Obama will again press Congress to pass his American Jobs Act during a Rose Garden event on Monday morning.

A White House official said that the president will send his legislation to Capitol Hill on Monday evening when Congress comes back in session.
On Monday, Obama will hold an event in the Rose Garden, an official said, where he “will call on Congress to pass the bill, which contains the kinds of proposals to grow the economy and create jobs that have been supported by both parties in the past.”

Republicans will at least consider the bill, but have asked the White House to split the proposals up instead of a single piece of legislation; perhaps a sign that they may like at least some parts of it, including much needed free trade agreements.

However, Republicans are skeptical of more infrastructure spending since the 2009 stimulus bill was such a failure and they are unconvinced that the payroll tax cut and tax breaks for employers are going to do much to boost the economy. The concerns on infrustructure are well-founded, as Veronique de Rugy noted last week. And it may sound unorthodox for the GOP to oppose a tax cut, but an editorial at USA Today explains why it’s a reasoned approach:

The plan Obama detailed includes several unappealing ideas. It relies heavily on slashing the Social Security payroll tax for an extra year. This would give employees more money to spend and employers an incentive to hire, but it would further deplete a program that is already running in the red. It would squander tax cuts on companies that need more consumer demand, not tax breaks, to induce them to hire. And it would make it even harder to restore the tax a year from now.

Temporary tax cuts in the face of much larger, much more long-term tax hikes that Obama wants are not a recipe for job creation. It’s what has prohibited the economy from growing in the shadow of the recession. Obama still doesn’t get it.

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