TEXT OF INTERVIEW
BILL RADKE: This morning’s Washington Post says the president is considering trying to create new jobs with some new tax breaks for businesses. Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson is live in our New York bureau. Good morning Jeremy.
JEREMY HOBSON: Good morning Bill.
RADKE: What is the Post saying the White House wants to do?
HOBSON: Well, the idea being floated is a payroll tax holiday, which could run into the hundreds of billions of dollars in terms of lost revenue for the federal government. And also an extension of the Research and Development tax credit for businesses. Now, if those ideas don’t sound all that amazing, that’s probably because they’re coming from a White House that is severely limited right now in terms of its political capital heading into a midterm election. Remember that the president is going to need Republicans in the Senate to pass any initiative. And right now, he can’t even get them to agree on a $30 billion bill to boost lending to small businesses.
RADKE: Well then what are the chances of a big package getting through before election day?
HOBSON: Well, Anne Mathias says not very good. She’s the director of research at Concept Capital in Washington. And as she sees it, Bill, the only things likely to pass Congress this fall are going to be much smaller than the $787 billion stimulus package passed last year, maybe just that small business lending bill, which is sitting in the Senate, and perhaps a business tax credit bill worth about $35 billion.
ANNE MATHIAS: You’re really only talking about $70 billion. I mean only $70 billion, it’s still a lot, but it’s not $700 billion unless you enact a massive payroll tax holiday and I really don’t think that’s going to get a lot of traction here in D.C.
And Bill, she says at this point whatever happens is going to have a lot more to do with politics than economics.
RADKE: Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson in New York, thank you.
HOBSON: Thanks Bill.