Steve Chiotakis: President Obama today goes to Columbus, Ohio, to pitch his American Jobs bill, a piece of legislation that’s just started on the Congressional path to who knows where. And the president will visit a high school that recently renovated some classrooms to underscore the need of spending on schools and infrastructure.
Marketplace’s David Gura is with us now live from Washington with the latest on how much that jobs program is going to cost. Good morning David.
David Gura: Hey, Steve.
Chiotakis: Now the president says the plan’s not going to “add a dime to the deficit.” Where’s the money going to come from?
Gura: Alright, well the plan as its written would cost about $450 billion. Now, the president says it’d be easy to come up with that kind of money, if the government were to change the tax code. President Obama says companies, and wealthier Americans making more than $200,000 a year, families making more than $250,000 a year — they get too many deductions. He says there are too many loopholes, and if we were to limit those, cut some of those, that’d be worth about $470 billion. So more money, actually, than the president’s jobs plan would cost.
Chiotakis: So where, David, does the plan go from here? I mean, is it up to Congress to vote on it? Or does it go to this “super committee” — the one that’s going to be trying to cut the long-term deficit?
Gura: Right. Well that Supercommittee — 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans — it meets today. And remember, they’re charged with finding a way to cut more than a trillion dollars over the next decade. Depending on what Congress does with the president’s bill this jobs plan could wind up on their plate as well. The president could conceivably ask them to find a way to work it into their overall decision. Either way, the White House says that later this month, the president’s going to suggest his own debt-reduction plan, and President Obama had this message for Congress yesterday.
Barack Obama: No games. No politics. No delays.
Chiotakis: Um, no chance?
Gura: It was a long summer, I don’t need to remind you of that — full of partisanship. But I think it’s pretty unlikely Congress is going to pass the president’s package as-is.
But, I talked to Alice Rivlin. She was on the president’s special commission to reduce the deficit, and she told me she’s still optimistic.
Alice Rivlin: We need to have strong job-creation now, and a much larger package over future years, bringing down the growth in deficits.
Rivlin told me Washington has to find a way to focus on both the short-term and the long-term if we want the economy to recover.
Chiotakis: Alright. Marketplace’s David Gura in Washington. David, thanks!
Gura: Thank you.