By David A. Harris, President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council
Tonight, the contrast has never been clearer: behind door number one, we have President Obama, presenting a powerful American Jobs Act based on ideas that have been supported by Democrats and Republicans alike. Behind door number two, we have GOP House leaders and presidential candidates paying only lip service to jobs, while instead focusing squarely on divisive social issues and slashing programs that most Americans hold dear. Any unemployed or underemployed American should choose door number one in a heartbeat.
This plan is packed with practical tools to help get America moving, and to help get individual Americans working. Keeping teachers on the job and modernizing schools are good for the economy, good for America’s children and crucial for our country’s future as well. A hiring tax credit for returning veterans makes great sense and is of course the right thing to do. Specific tax credits to spur employers to hire long-term unemployed workers is crucial. Cutting payroll taxes in half for 98 percent of American businesses - primarily small businesses - will indisputably help.
These are truly practically-applied programs that can help our country move forward dramatically and quickly - and most importantly of all, programs and concepts based on what Democrats and Republicans have both supported before. Dramatic tax relief for American workers? The fact that it will be fully paid for? These should be Republican talking points. If the Republicans block this plan, and - as I might expect - continue to offer no solution of their own, the truth will be plain for all to see: the politics of the day trumps solving America’s problems on the other side of the aisle.