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Dueling Jobs Bills?

I wrote to President Obama 4 days before the State of the Union address, urging him to focus on job creation as the number one theme. Thank goodness he listened! <JK> There are two different jobs ideas now on the table, one promoted by the House, and one by the White House. Because it seems nothing the government does these days can be without controversy, these proposals have been referred to in the media as “dueling” or competing. The essence of the controversy is whether it is better to create jobs by stimulating private industry, or by directly funding projects that cause hiring. The answer in a down economy is that BOTH are needed right now.

Both proposals include tax credits for hiring. The President emphasized credits to small businesses, because they hire quickly, more broadly across skill areas, and have an immediate impact. This is great, and it will work. Both proposals call for infrastructure investment: Start road projects and hire construction workers. Improve education and hire more teachers (or bring them back from layoffs). Support homeland security at the local level by hiring more police and firefighters. All of this will work, will stimulate spending, result in more income tax and sales tax revenues, etc. Ultimately, government gets paid back on all this investment, as was evidenced during the prosperous 90’s, when we had budget surpluses.

Personally, I hope the factionalizing and partisanship stops, and government can move swiftly to take decisive action that will actually speed the recovering. No more dueling!