'Battle Lines Drawn' on Deficit Reduction Plan
Schakowsky, Dold respond to President's plans.
Local members of Congress have been adding their own proposals to complement the American Jobs Act introduced by President Barack Obama Sept. 8 and are not shy about expressing what they think of the President’s deficit reduction ideas delivered Monday.
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Evanston) praised the President’s proposal to reduce the federal deficit by increasing taxes while Rep. Robert Dold (R-Kenilworth) is dubious about the effect he thinks it will have on the economy.
Job creation vs. tax reform
“I applaud the President's call for immediate job creation and his demand that millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share,” Schakowsky said. “The battle lines are drawn in this crisis and President Obama is taking a clear stand behind our nation’s seniors and middle class Americans.”
Dold wants to see bipartisan action to reform the Internal Revenue Code. He also only wants to pass legislation that can be paid for, but stops short of increasing the tax burden on people he feels can help spur the economy.
“We do need to reform the tax code, and I am in favor of closing loopholes and eliminating special interest giveaways that exist,” Dold said. “Raising taxes on small business owners will do nothing to spur the economy and incentivize companies to create new jobs.”
Feeling the private sector has done very little to reduce the unemployment rate, Schakowsky and 40 other House Democrats introduced the Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act Sept. 15. She sees the idea going hand in hand with the American Jobs Act.
“[The President] borrowed part of our bill. The School Improvement Corps is part of the bill,” Schakowsky said about a proposal she introduced last month. “We hope to continue to add more with the super committee,” she added, referring to the 12-member group of senators and representatives which will make additional spending cuts.
Schakowsky firmly supports both the American Jobs Act and the President’s deficit cutting proposal announced Monday.
Finding consensus with payroll taxes
Nearly half of the expenditures in the American Jobs Act are reductions in payroll tax paid by businesses and workers. Dold introduced his own legislation Sept. 8 to eliminate payroll taxes for one year for any company hiring a person who is unemployed.
Dold sees good points in each idea; the congressman wants to work with members of both parties to find a solution to help more Americans find work.
“At the end of the day, I’m looking for common ground where both sides can come together and pass jobs legislation that put people back to work,” Dold said. “Whether that is a version of payroll tax relief, an incentive to hire the unemployed, passing the free trade agreements or reducing duplicative regulations, I think it is important to move forward and find consensus.”
Schakowsky likes the reduction of payroll taxes on the employee side, whether for newly hired personnel or existing workers.
“The real job creators are people with money in their pockets,” she said.
Another area where Dold and the President agree is on creating jobs by passing pending free trade agreements with South Korea, Panama and Colombia.
“Each billion dollars of exports will create 6,250 new jobs. The free trade legislation will double exports by 2014,” Dold said. “If we fill some of those jobs with local people it will be a big help."