410,000 companies inFloridasaw payroll taxes cut in half?
We invested almost $1.6 billion to improveFlorida’s highways and transit system and, in the process, created 20,500 new jobs?
We invested nearly $1.7 billion to save and additionally support nearly 26,000Floridateachers, police officers and fire fighters?
We spent nearly $1.3 billion to upgrade Floridaschools to 21st Century standards while, in the process, created over 16,000 new jobs?
We spent $2.7 billion inFloridato refurbish and retrofit foreclosed homes?
We spent nearly $300 million to augment the job creating work ofFlorida’s community colleges?
We put the 498,000 long-term unemployed workers inFloridaback to work?
We placed 8,800 adults and 35,600 young people inFloridainto jobs through training in growth industries?
We cut the taxes of a typicalFloridahousehold – earning $46,000 a year – by $1,430 through an expansion of the payroll tax cut passed last December?
Let’s see, doing the math…okay, carry the one…that’s about $7.6 billion additional dollars flowing into Florida and almost 600,000 new jobs.
Somehow, I think we’d all say, “yes,” to such a bold investment in ourselves, our communities, our economy, our future.
The good news is we can say yes to these kinds of investments and more. They’re all part of President Obama’s American Jobs Act.
All we need is for the Congress of theUnited Statesto say, “yes,” and pass this bill.
The purpose of the American Jobs Act is simple, according to President Obama: “put more people back to work and put more money in the pockets of working Americans. And…do so without adding a dime to the deficit.”
Sure, you say, “but how would we pay for such a clearly beneficial project? We don’t have any money.”
Actually, we do have money – or could have the money. President Obama challenged Congress on Monday to cut $4.4 trillion from current spending and press forward on deficit reduction.
The single largest piece of these cuts – approximately $1.5 trillion – will come from tax reform. Everyone agrees the nation’s tax code is in need of reform.
The president wants Congress to lower tax rates, cut wasteful loopholes and tax breaks, reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion and enact the “Buffett Rule” raising taxes on people making more than $1 million a year to bring their tax rates in line with tax rates paid by middle-class families. (That’s the Warren Buffett rule, not the Jimmy Buffet rule…although he, too, will probably see taxes go up.)
Democratic leaders in the Senate have indicated they favor a tax surchage on incomes above $1 million.
The president wants Congress to allow the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 to expire, which will raise $866 billion. He wants to limit the deductions and exclusions of people earning more that $250,000 a year to raise $410 billion. He wants Congress to close loopholes and eliminate special interest tax breaks to raise $300 billion.
He also wants Congress to move forward with the $1.2 trillion in discretionary cuts enacted in the Budget Control Act; approve $580 billion in cuts and reforms to a wide range of mandatory programs; save $1.1 trillion from the drawdown of troops inAfghanistanand transition from a military to a civilian-led mission inIraq. Add to the mix, as well, $430 billion in additional interest savings.
Granted a one-time investment in the American Jobs Act adds to the deficit in 2012 – a bold and risky proposition for a president running for re-election in 2012 – but the project is fully paid for over 10 years and deficit reduction begins in 2013 as the economy grows stronger. Spending cuts-to-revenue ratio for the entire plan (including discretionary cuts) is 2 to 1.
Is it complicated? Sure. Is it bold and courageous? Without question. Can it pass the Congress? It can if the Congress puts our nation ahead of partisan politics.