In a recent survey of 34 economists, Bloomberg News found that most agreed with less-than-optimistic predictions about President Barack Obama’s jobs plan, saying it would essentially halt the recession and push the unemployment rate down, but just slightly.
The $447 billion plan, achieved mostly through reforming the tax code to eliminate loopholes, end subsidies to oil and gas companies and raising rates on the wealthiest Americans, would ultimately add or keep 275,000 workers employed.
But at the end of its course, Obama’s jobs plan would only edge the national unemployment down by 2/10ths of one percent, they added. Most of the difference would be in workers retained who may otherwise have been dismissed, rather than new jobs being filled.
One of the most optimistic predictions in reporter Timothy R. Homan’s story comes from Julia Coronado, an economist for North America at BNP Paribas. She said the plan would add 200,000 new workers and save roughly 300,000 currently existing jobs.
Most of the proposals are unlikely to pass Congress, which has come close to completely shutting down the federal government twice this year, gridlocking on seemingly common sense articles like disaster relief funding and unemployment aid.
Many of the president’s ideas, however, were taken directly from Republicans, like his proposal to give tax credits to businesses that hire new employees.
The proposals are not new: President Obama has sought to make these changes in his past two budget requests, and in the Affordable Care Act. They have been repeatedly blocked by Republicans in Congress, who claim that raising tax rates on wealthy Americans would deter them from creating jobs.
Recent polling is on the president’s side, too. Figures show an increased appetite for tax fairness among the American public, with a large majority agreeing that wealthy Americans should pay more to ensure the nation’s economic stability.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has said he’s not opposed to passing at least some of the president’s proposals.