Obama unveils $33 billion tax credit to boost jobs

By Steve Holland

BALTIMORE, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama on
Friday proposed $33 billion in tax credits to coax small
businesses into hiring workers as he underscored his commitment
to pushing job creation to the top of his agenda.

With public frustration over double-digit unemployment
eroding his popularity, Obama has begun rolling out initiatives
aimed at backing up his jobs pledge made in his economy-focused
State of the Union Address earlier this week.

The latest proposal calls for a $5,000 tax credit for every
net new worker hired in 2010. The amount would be capped at
$500,000 per firm to make sure that the bulk of the benefits go
to small businesses.

“The economy is growing but job growth is lagging,” Obama
told workers at a custom-machine plant in Baltimore.

He spoke after the release of data showing U.S. gross
domestic product expanded at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent
in the fourth quarter, a trend he hailed as a “stark
improvement” compared to economic decline a year ago.

But he insisted that more work was needed to spur
employment and urged the U.S. Senate to push ahead with jobs
legislation. The House of Representatives approved a $155
billion jobs bill in December.

Obama said his tax credit proposal could help small
businesses to hire workers while lowering their taxes. He
estimated that more than 1 million small businesses could
benefit.

“Now’s the perfect time for this kind of incentive,” he
said. “The key thing is it’s time to put America back to
work.”

Small businesses are the biggest source of job creation and
hold the key to reducing unemployment, so funneling money their
way is a smart approach. The problem is, even though the
economy has resumed growing, confidence is in short supply,
leaving these companies reluctant to hire, economists say.

The tax credit plan was previewed by Obama in his State of
the Union speech, where he reframed his policy agenda to put
the emphasis squarely on jobs and the economy, Americans’ chief
concerns in a midterm congressional election year.

A shocking win last week by a Republican in an election to
the U.S. Senate in traditionally Democratic-dominated
Massachusetts has jolted the White House into concentrating its
message on Obama’s strategy to boost jobs.

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(Additional reporting by Jeff Mason and Alister Bull; writing
by Matt Spetalnick; editing by Mohammad Zargham)

Obama unveils $33 billion tax credit to boost jobs