Even as one Republican leader accused President Obama of being "out of ideas and out of touch," Obama was proving that he is neither. The president's call for a spending plan to boost job creation and preservation recognizes that though the stock market is showing signs of a bounce-back, and other positive developments have been sighted on the economic horizon, unemployment remains at 10 percent nationwide, and for those 7 million Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession, recovery is a long way off.
And so, in a plan that would cost somewhere between $150 billion and $200 billion, Obama would: strike capital gains taxes for those who invested in stocks in small companies next year and held the stock for at least five years; he would continue giving those small companies tax breaks for some expenditures, such as equipment; small businesses would get tax incentives if they hired new people; and those small firms would be forgiven fees that usually go with borrowing through the Small Business Administration. In addition there would be billions of dollars worth of new construction projects and transportation improvements. Homeowners who make their houses more energy efficient would get rebates.
These are not giveaways, nor are they a bunch of New Deal-style federal employment programs (without which many Americans would not have survived the Great Depression). Rather, he is encouraging the creation of jobs where it counts, at the local level, in small businesses that stand a chance to prosper and employ more people.
This is the common-sense way to long-term recovery for the country and stable employment for a lot of people. It is better than any other alternative offered, not that many have been. It is the difference between patchwork and a careful rebuilding of an economic structure that proved to be dangerously flawed and subject to manipulation.
To read the complete editorial, visit The (Raleigh) News & Observer.