POLITICS

Obama Jobs Plan Meets Early Resistance From Republicans

08/21/2011 01:41 pm ET | Updated Oct 21, 2011

Following a few dismal weeks on Wall Street and talk of a double-dip recession, President Obama will soon announce a new jobs plan that is expected to include an extension of payroll tax cuts, new revenue for transportation projects and an extension of emergency unemployment benefits for the 9.1 percent of Americans who still can't find a job. Obama's campaign advisor, David Axelrod, said on Sunday that there's nothing in the proposal "that reasonable people shouldn't be able to agree on" -- but many fired-up Republicans are already preparing to reject whatever the president puts on the table.

“This is the seventh or eighth or ninth time we’ve heard the president talk about producing a plan,” Republican strategist Karl Rove said on Fox News Sunday. “And each time that he’s gotten around to tossing an idea out on the table, it has included only more spending, more deficit, more debt and the American people are fed up with it.”

The stock market fell 11 percent in August, after the U.S. economy took a hit from soaring gas prices, the Japanese earthquake and the debt ceiling drama on Capitol Hill. Moody's Analytics economist Mark Zandy said on Sunday that the only way to avoid a double-dip recession right now was for Congress to follow through on the debt ceiling deal in a "reasonable, graceful way" and to extend the payroll tax cuts in 2012. But many of the same Republicans who are fiercely protective of tax cuts for the wealthy have already said they oppose Obama's plan to extend the payroll tax cut for low income Americans.

"It's always a net positive to let taxpayers keep more of what they earn," Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) told the AP, "but not all tax relief is created equal for the purposes of helping to get the economy moving again."

Rep. David Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said he also opposed the 12-month tax cut because it would cost the government about $120 billion next year if it were renewed.

Axelrod suggested on Sunday that the Republicans' position was hypocritical.

"It is unthinkable to me that the Republican party would say we can't touch tax cuts for the wealthy, we can't touch special interest corporate tax loopholes because that will hinder the economy, but we'll allow a $1,000 tax increase on the average American come January," he said on ABC News' "This Week." "How could that be? The only explanation for it is politics."

Republicans are also pushing back on Obama's plan to extend emergency unemployment benefits. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) said on Sunday that while he would "consider" supporting the payroll tax cuts, he is less enthusiastic about unemployment insurance.

"I don't think that creates jobs," he said on CNN's "State of the Union." "It lessens the pain. The problem is we need to have things that create jobs, not just promote benefits for people that are not working."

Obama is expected to announce his new jobs proposal in a speech after Labor Day.

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