Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Roundup: "Obama’s Job Proposals"

From Economix:

President Obama today announced his support for three job creation proposals (heavens, don’t call them “stimulus”!).

Below is a roundup of some background reading on each of the three ideas. This post also explains two ways to think about achieving job growth.

1) Steps to help small businesses grow and hire new staff
This includes things like tax incentives for businesses to hire workers and invest in capital.

  • This news article outlined the pros and cons of a job creation tax credit.
  • This blog post, by one of the creators of a new tax credit proposal, argues that this strategy worked the last time the federal government tried it in the 1970s.
  • This blog post described some political hurdles facing such a proposal.
  • The Tax Policy Center last winter analyzed some of the stimulus bill’s tax provisions — a couple of which President Obama said today that he wanted to extend, including enhanced expensing provisions for small businesses — and gave them a grade of “C.”
  • This piece, produced last year by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, take a negative view of the bonus depreciation tax incentive, which was also included in the stimulus package earlier this year. This academic paper says that such tax incentives are effective.
  • In an Op-Ed last month, Mark Zandi argued that the Small Business Administration loan guarantee program should be expanded, which the president today said he wished to do.
  • Here are positions from the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business industry group, on various tax proposals.

2) Infrastructure investment

  • This article talks about the history of megaprojects, and their usefulness as a source of economic stimulus.
  • This entry from EH.net (an economic history Web site) talks about the Works Progress Administration, created during the Great Depression to employ Americans on infrastructure projects like bridges, roads and schools (as well as murals, oral histories, posters, etc.).

3) Incentives for people who weatherize their homes

  • David Leonhardt explained this “cash for caulkers” idea in a column, and provided more details of the proposal here.