Thursday, September 8, 2011

McCaskill and Blunt sound off on Obama's jobs speech

ST. LOUIS, MO (ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO) - Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says President Barack Obama will be in a challenging position tonight night as he presents his jobs plan to a joint session of Congress.

In a conference call with reporters Wednesday, McCaskill said most Missourians want Congress to cut spending, but it will be difficult for the federal government to embark on a giant jobs programs without spending money.

"I’m hopeful the president’s plan will be revenue neutral, in other words, not add in any way to the deficit," McCaskill said. "But be significant enough that it could help in a painfully slow recovery. It’s a recovery, but it’s a painfully slow recovery."

People familiar with the White House deliberations on the jobs package say Obama is considering a plan totaling about $300 billion in tax cuts and spending for 2012.

Two of the biggest measures are expected to be a one-year extension of a Social Security tax cut for workers and a continuation of unemployment benefits. Those items would total about $170 billion dollars.

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt said neither measure would create a single job.

"The unemployment benefit extension eventually becomes another reason for employers to not create jobs because they have to pay into that fund that was never designed to be a never ending benefit," Blunt said.

Blunt says reducing Social Security taxes for workers only robs future social security recipients. But he says he might be able to support the measures if they are part of a bigger job creation package.

Julie Bierach, St. Louis Public Radio


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