If you have not heard the speech in its entirety, please do so but I will highlight the details of what is in this jobs bill right below the video:
Full Transcript: The president's speech was flawless, forceful, precise and detailed it included the following:
1) The plan has ideas that have been supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the past that should not be controversial and easy to pass.
2) Everything in the bill is paid for.
I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away. It’s called the American Jobs Act. There should be nothing controversial about this piece of legislation. Everything in here is the kind of proposal that’s been supported by both Democrats and Republicans -- including many who sit here tonight. And everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything.3) Cut businesses payroll tax in half to 3.1% (A $65 Billion payroll tax holiday) on their first $5 million in payroll in 2012 which covers about 98% of small business. In addition, a complete payroll tax holiday if they hire new workers or if they raise workers' wages by up to $50 million above the prior year.
It’s not just Democrats who have supported this kind of proposal. Fifty House Republicans have proposed the same payroll tax cut that’s in this plan. You should pass it right away.4) Employee payroll tax holiday for 160 million workers that would halve the tax rate to 3.1 percent in 2012 which is one-year extension worth $175 Billion, providing a $1,500 tax cut to the typical American family.
Pass this jobs bill, and the typical working family will get a $1,500 tax cut next year. Fifteen hundred dollars that would have been taken out of your pocket will go into your pocket. This expands on the tax cut that Democrats and Republicans already passed for this year. If we allow that tax cut to expire -- if we refuse to act -- middle-class families will get hit with a tax increase at the worst possible time. We can’t let that happen. I know that some of you have sworn oaths to never raise any taxes on anyone for as long as you live. Now is not the time to carve out an exception and raise middle-class taxes, which is why you should pass this bill right away. (Applause.)5) A tax credit of $4,000 to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers.
Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get a $4,000 tax credit if they hire anyone who has spent more than six months looking for a job. (Applause.) We have to do more to help the long-term unemployed in their search for work. This jobs plan builds on a program in Georgia that several Republican leaders have highlighted, where people who collect unemployment insurance participate in temporary work as a way to build their skills while they look for a permanent job.6) A plan that will extend a 100 percent expensing tax break for companies who invest in plant and equipment allowing them to take immediate tax deduction.
7) Reforms regulations to help facilitate access to capital for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
Now, I realize that some of you have a different theory on how to grow the economy. Some of you sincerely believe that the only solution to our economic challenges is to simply cut most government spending and eliminate most government regulations. (Applause.)8) Increased hiring tax credits for veterans from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.
Well, I agree that we can’t afford wasteful spending, and I’ll work with you, with Congress, to root it out. And I agree that there are some rules and regulations that do put an unnecessary burden on businesses at a time when they can least afford it. (Applause.) That’s why I ordered a review of all government regulations. So far, we’ve identified over 500 reforms, which will save billions of dollars over the next few years. (Applause.) We should have no more regulation than the health, safety and security of the American people require. Every rule should meet that common-sense test. (Applause.)
Pass this jobs bill, and companies will get extra tax credits if they hire America’s veterans. We ask these men and women to leave their careers, leave their families, risk their lives to fight for our country. The last thing they should have to do is fight for a job when they come home.9) Ensures that up to 280,000 teacher are not laid off work while keeping cops and firefighters on the job.
Pass this jobs bill, and thousands of teachers in every state will go back to work. These are the men and women charged with preparing our children for a world where the competition has never been tougher. But while they’re adding teachers in places like South Korea, we’re laying them off in droves. It’s unfair to our kids. It undermines their future and ours. And it has to stop. Pass this bill, and put our teachers back in the classroom where they belong. (Applause.)10) Modernizing and renovating at least 35,000 public schools across the country
The American Jobs Act will repair and modernize at least 35,000 schools. It will put people to work right now fixing roofs and windows, installing science labs and high-speed Internet in classrooms all across this country. It will rehabilitate homes and businesses in communities hit hardest by foreclosures. It will jumpstart thousands of transportation projects all across the country. And to make sure the money is properly spent, we’re building on reforms we’ve already put in place. No more earmarks. No more boondoggles. No more bridges to nowhere. We’re cutting the red tape that prevents some of these projects from getting started as quickly as possible. And we’ll set up an independent fund to attract private dollars and issue loans based on two criteria: how badly a construction project is needed and how much good it will do for the economy. (Applause.)11) Investments in infrastructure and Infrastructure Bank to modernizing roads, rail, airports and waterways while putting hundreds of thousands of workers back on the job.
Pass this jobs bill, and we can put people to work rebuilding America. Everyone here knows we have badly decaying roads and bridges all over the country. Our highways are clogged with traffic. Our skies are the most congested in the world. It’s an outrage.12) A $49 billion, one year extension of unemployment benefits to prevent 5 million Americans looking for work from losing their benefits.
Building a world-class transportation system is part of what made us a economic superpower. And now we’re going to sit back and watch China build newer airports and faster railroads? At a time when millions of unemployed construction workers could build them right here in America?
The plan also extends unemployment insurance for another year. (Applause.) If the millions of unemployed Americans stopped getting this insurance, and stopped using that money for basic necessities, it would be a devastating blow to this economy. Democrats and Republicans in this chamber have supported unemployment insurance plenty of times in the past. And in this time of prolonged hardship, you should pass it again -- right away. (Applause.)13) A plan to allowing for Americans to refinance their mortgages at today's near 4 percent interest rates, which can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket.
My administration can and will take some steps to improve our competitiveness on our own. For example, if you’re a small business owner who has a contract with the federal government, we’re going to make sure you get paid a lot faster than you do right now. (Applause.) We’re also planning to cut away the red tape that prevents too many rapidly growing startup companies from raising capital and going public. And to help responsible homeowners, we’re going to work with federal housing agencies to help more people refinance their mortgages at interest rates that are now near 4 percent. That’s a step -- (applause) -- I know you guys must be for this, because that’s a step that can put more than $2,000 a year in a family’s pocket, and give a lift to an economy still burdened by the drop in housing prices.I watched the speech live and I must say the delivery of the speech by President Obama was forceful and on point at times vigorous capitalizing on his oratory skills demanding action from Congress to act now with urgency. It was beautiful. I personally was very proud of my President to see once again him swing that bat hard to hit the ball out of the ball park. I liked it. I liked the fact that he is pushing back hard and taking it straight to the American people.
These are just a little bit of what I can compile from difference sources but I am certain there are many small but important details I may have missed we just have to wait to review the detail bill. However, here are some reactions to President Obama's plan from different sources:
The introduction of the “American Jobs Act” was both a policy and rhetorical shift from the administration, away from the above the fray “most reasonable man in the room” strategy aimed at a narrow sliver of independent voters and toward a more aggressive, feistier Obama, one who is not afraid to run against the do-nothing Congress, take his case directly to the American people and ruffle a few feathers. It’s the Obama, quite frankly, that many of his supporters have been waiting quite some time to see.
But for now, Obama’s speech was an important first step in changing the conversation and defining the debate on his own terms. I particularly liked the section where he invoked Abraham Lincoln to argue for the essential role of government in America. Think of it as the president’s long-awaited reply to the Tea Party. Said Obama:We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union. But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future—a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges. And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.Bold Emphesis Added
Ask yourselves—where would we be right now if the people who sat here before us decided not to build our highways and our bridges; our dams and our airports? What would this country be like if we had chosen not to spend money on public high schools, or research universities, or community colleges? Millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, had the opportunity to go to school because of the GI Bill. Where would we be if they hadn’t had that chance?
How many jobs would it have cost us if past Congresses decided not to support the basic research that led to the Internet and the computer chip? What kind of country would this be if this Chamber had voted down Social Security or Medicare just because it violated some rigid idea about what government could or could not do? How many Americans would have suffered as a result?
No single individual built America on their own. We built it together. We have been, and always will be, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all; a nation with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another. Members of Congress, it is time for us to meet our responsibilities.
With more than 14 million people out of work and all Americans fearing a double-dip recession, President Obama stood face to face Thursday night with a Congress that has perversely resisted lifting a finger to help. Some Republicans refused to even sit and listen. But those Americans who did heard him unveil an ambitious proposal — more robust and far-reaching than expected — that may be the first crucial step in reigniting the economy.Obama Puts Passion Into Jobs Speech Rarely Seen In His Presidency by Howard Fineman
If Republicans ultimately choose gridlock over compromise, as they did in the debt-limit fight last month, the president will be able to say that he proposed a centrist jobs plan that his base wasn’t crazy about, that Republicans should have been able to accept, and that he pleaded with Congress to pass. Given that, if you’re an Obama partisan, a Republican rejection might be exactly what you want — though that’s a perverse policy outcome. Even if the president himself would prefer to pass something, he has given himself room to push back hard on Republican lawmakers should they balk.
Thursday’s speech could end up being most notable as the first major address of Obama’s 2012 campaign against the GOP House.
WASHINGTON -- Most presidents kick off their re-election campaigns with a speech on the campaign trail somewhere, or from the Oval Office. President Obama did it in a novel, telling and shrewdly chosen place: in the middle of an address to Congress.Obama’s jobs speech challenges GOP By Eugene Robinson
If people were wondering what template Barack Obama would choose for his re-election effort -- some had suggested FDR in 1936 or Ronald Reagan in 1984 -- we now have an answer:
Harry Truman in 1948, the "Give 'Em Hell Harry" who challenged Congress to tackle with the post-war nation's problems and castigated the Republican Congress for its obstinate failure to do so.
Addresses to joint sessions of Congress are supposed to be august, stately and somber affairs, but the president turned it into a raucous and lively mixture of a campaign stump speech and a college-style debate on the floor of the British House of Commons.
His tactical strategy is clear. The only political institution less popular than he is at this time is the Congress. An astounding, almost pre-revolutionary 82 percent of the American people think that the Congress is doing a bad job of dealing with the nation's problems.
President Obama raised his speechifying game Thursday night, as he had to do. Another billet doux inviting hostile congressional Republicans to please sit around the campfire and sing “Kumbaya” wouldn’t have cut it. What Obama did, instead, was issue a challenge -- and, not incidentally, lay out the opening themes of his reelection campaign.Stimulus for Skeptics By DAVID BROOKS
Perhaps the most significant line in Obama’s speech was his promise to take his jobs message to the people in “every corner of the country.” He told the assembled members of Congress that if they balk at passing his American Jobs Act, he will go over their heads. That answered the obvious question: What does Obama intend to do when House Republicans ball up his bill and throw it in the trash?
Thursday night the president gave one of the most forceful and compelling domestic policy speeches of his presidency. His proposals were drawn from the middle of the ideological spectrum and were selected to appeal to people who don’t put a lot of faith in government spending. There’s a payroll tax cut, a small business tax cut, infrastructure spending, subsidies so states don’t have to lay off cops, firefighters and teachers, and a plan to use unemployment insurance to subsidize temporary work for the unemployed to get them back involved in the labor force.WashPost: Forceful, yes. Impatient, very much so. By Stephen Stromberg
There wasn’t much you could call professorial about President Obama’s jobs speech Thursday night. Forceful, yes. Demanding, perhaps. Impatient, very much so.The Fix
“We meet at an urgent time for our country,” Obama began.
“I am sending this Congress a plan that you should pass right away,” he said. “It will put people to work right now,” he claimed.
“Pass this jobs bill,” he repeated — over and over again, with a frequency only rivaled by his use of the phrase “right away.”
President Obama delivered a forceful call to action in a speech on jobs tonight to Congress, repeatedly employing rhetoric that sounded like the early stages of his 2012 campaign stump speech.
Many of the proposals in Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan had been previewed before he stepped in front of a joint session of Congress around 7 pm eastern time. But his aggressive tone was something new — and unexpected.
At the speech’s conclusion, Obama issued a clear warning to those who would stand in the way of the bill; “You should pass it,” he said. “And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country.”
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