The $447 billion jobs initiative President Obama
introduced last month, calledÂ â€œThe American Jobs Act,â€Â contains some pieces that aim to boost home
mortgage refinancing, rehab homes, cut taxes for small businesses, boost road,
bridges, and other public-works spending, in part through an infrastructure
bank, and otherwise inject momentum into the stalled economic recovery. Many of
the specifics are still to come. Hereâ€™s a thumbnail summary of the key
provisions provided by the White House:
1.Â Cut in half the taxes paid by businesses on their first $5 million in payroll,Â targeting the benefit to the 98 percent of firms that have payroll below this threshold.
2.Â Give a payroll tax holiday for adding workers or increasing
wages. The benefit is capped Â Â at the first $50 million in payroll increases.
3.Â Extend 100-percent expensing into 2012.
4.Â Institute regulatory reforms to help entrepreneurs and small businesses access capital.
5.Â Offer tax credits from $5,600 to $9,600 to encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans.
6.Â Institute reforms to prevent up to 280,000 teacher layoffs and â€œto keep police and firefighters on the job.â€
7.Â Modernize at least 35,000 public schools and supporting new science labs and Internet- ready classrooms.
8.Â Invest in infrastructure, in part through a National Infrastructure Bank.
9.Â Launch â€œProject Rebuildâ€ for rehabilitating homes, in part by leveraging private capital, â€œscaling land banks,â€ and encouraging other public-private collaborations.
10.Â Expand access to high-speed wireless.
11.Â Institute reforms to prevent layoffs and give states greater flexibility to use unemployment insurance funds for work-sharing and other programs, including programs in which displaced workers take temporary, voluntary work or pursue on-the-job training.
12.Â Offer a $4,000 tax credit to employers for hiring long-term unemployed workers; prohibit employers from discriminating against unemployed workers in hiring andÂ training programs.
13.Â Cut payroll taxes by 50 percent, for an average tax cut of $1,500 per worker.
14.Â Increase home mortgage refinancing.
Stefan F. Tohatan PhD