Obama looks to create jobs; Watch his speech tonight at 7 - CBS46 News

Obama looks to create jobs; Watch his speech tonight at 7

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President Barack Obama will lay out a jobs package worth more than $300 billion on Thursday night.

His televised speech will take place during a joint session of the U.S. Congress, at 7 p.m.

He is expected to speak for 45 minutes.

Obama is likely to offer a package of ideas that would affect people in their daily lives - tax relief, unemployment insurance, spending to support construction jobs, aid to states to keep people in their jobs. Businesses would get their own tax breaks. And he will promise a long-term plan to pay for it all.

Given the country's political and economic reality, two key questions hang over the president's speech: Will any of his ideas get approved, and will they actually work?

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said he was hopeful that there would be some proposals the White House and Republicans could agree on.

At the heart of Obama's plan will be extending, by one more year, a payroll tax cut for workers that went into effect this year. The president wants the payroll tax, which raises money for Social Security, to stay at 4.2 percent rather than kick back up to 6.2 percent. That tax applies to earnings up to $106,800.

Obama is expected to seek continued unemployment aid for millions of people receiving extended benefits. That program, too, is set to expire at year's end.

Among the other potential proposals by Obama:

  • Tax credits for employers who hire.
  • A major school construction initiative.
  • Aid to local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers and other workers.
  • Other tax help for businesses, such as continuing to allow them to deduct the full value of new equipment.

Since Obama took office in January 2009, nearly 2 million Americans have lost jobs. Almost 14 million people are out of work.

The unemployment rate, which stood at 5 percent at the start of the deep recession and 7.8 percent when Obama began in office, is at 9.1 percent. Most troubling is the trend line. After a period of steady if modest job creation, employers have stopped hiring.

You can watch the speech live on CBSAtlanta.com tonight at 7:00 p.m. Click on the banner at the top of the page.

Copyright 2011 WGCL-TV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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