Obama Puts Forth Jobs Plan

Today, in a speech at the Brookings Institution, President Obama outlined a strategy designed to accelerate job growth. In particular, he outlined four broad steps which he argued should be taken:

  • Small Business Assistance, including through the elimination of capital gains taxes for small business investment, extending write-offs to encourage small businesses to expand, creating a tax incentive to encourage job creation, waiving fees and increasing the guarantees for SBA-backed loans, and using TARP funds to facilitate lending to small businesses.
  •  Infrastructure Spending, beyond what was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
  • "Green" Spending in the form of a new program to incentivize home weatherization, as well as an expansion of initiatives passed under the ARRA to promote energy efficiency and clean energy jobs.
  • Extend Relief Provisions of the ARRA, particularly for unemployment benefits, health insurance (COBRA) subsidies, payments to seniors, and aid to state and local governments.

President Obama also proposed to pay for these programs, in part, by winding down the TARP program.

We agree with President Obama, of course, that "with a fiscal crisis to match our economic crisis, we also must be prudent about how we fund it."

Paying for new initiatives is, in fact, the least we can do.

But reducing the funds available for TARP to pay for new measures would be a big mistake, mainly because much of that money would not be spent anyway. We'll write more on why soon.