Obama Announces $33B Hiring Tax Credit

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says many questions also remain about how the government could actually measure an increase in credit availability to small businesses.

"How will we be able to see and measure incremental credit availability to small businesses? How much credit availability currently exists for small businesses? Are there credit worthy businesses that are being turned down?" he asked in an e-mail to ABCNews.com. "Credit worthy means there is a high probability the borrower will pay back the loan in the agreed time with the agreed interest payment. How will the community banks be selected to receive the incremental money? How long will it take to get this money into the system?"

O'Neill took issue with Obama's contention that the money used for the $30 billion program will be that which "Wall Street banks have repaid" through the Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as the bank bailout.

"Since we are in a deep deficit hole this is more borrowed money. The President implied this was available money because the banks had paid it back … this is an accounting fiction … I hope the President knows better than what he inferred," he said. (For more on what O'Neill had to say, click here.)

Government Investment in Infrastructure, Clean Energy Projects

The House's jobs bill includes $48.3 billion for infrastructure investments, including $2 billion for renewable energy and electricity projects.

In his speech yesterday, Obama touted a new high-speed railroad system -- funded by the administration's $787 billion stimulus program last year -- that is breaking ground today in Tampa, Fla.

"There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help our nation move goods, services and information," he said.

The usual critique of infrastructure investments -- both those funded by last year's stimulus and those proposed in Washington now -- is that they take a while to come to fruition.

Faucher said that, given the state of today's economy, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some have predicted, after all, that the U.S. unemployment rate will hover around 10 percent for the next two years.

"Even if it takes a while for these projects to get going, they're still going to have a positive impact on labor market once they do start up," he said.

He's less optimistic, however, about job creation by the clean energy sector.

"It's such a small part of the economy," he said. "Maybe they think it polls well, but in terms of actual substantive job growth it's a drop in the bucket."

Cut Tax Breaks for Companies Sending Jobs Overseas, Give Tax Breaks to Companies Creating Jobs in the U.S.

The advent of foreign outsourcing has long been a thorn in the side of U.S. labor advocates, particularly those who've watched the U.S. manufacturing sector shrink to a shell of its former self.

Business advocates, meanwhile, argue that cheaper labor costs overseas allow them to be more competitive in a global market.

So would tax incentives to level the playing field between U.S.'s more expensive labor costs and those of, say, China?

University of Maryland economist Peter Morici says no.

"The Chinese give these companies a 50 percent cost advantages with currency and subsidies," he said. "Do you think a marginal tax rate cut is going to change that?"

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