Tuesday, September 20, 2011

PfP News: DNC reaches out to collegiate journalists on conference call to defend "American Jobs Act" [VIDEO]

       TPN: Democrat leaders push proposed American Job Act                                                                                                   
Democratic leaders have taken to all corners of the country to stump President Barack Obama’s newly proposed jobs bill, including college campuses

Democratic National Committee Chair, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and White House staffer Kalpen Modi (Kal Penn) hosted a conference call for collegiate journalists Monday afternoon to discuss Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act and how it may benefit students across the nation. The two officials in the call focused mostly on explaining the merits of the bill and its aims, rather than the specifics of how it will accomplish them.

 Obama began the push for the bill with a speech two weeks ago, which he is intended to jump-start the nation’s economy. While he emphasized that “nothing in this bill should be controversial,” Republicans in both chambers of Congress have criticized the bill and its proposal to increase taxes on the rich.

Schultz stressed in the call the difficulties for college graduates and made clear that the president’s bill would facilitate a faster transition from college to the workforce, but she didn’t expound upon how exactly the bill would accomplish this.
 “Right now there is a struggle coming right out of college. There are certainly no automatic opportunities, so this bill would be more hospitable to college graduates,” Schultz said. “For young Americans in particular, the American Jobs Act will really make a difference in the short-term and long-term employment.”

The White House website states that the president’s act would cut taxes for America’s small businesses so that they can hire employees and grow. The first $5 million in payroll tax would be cut in half for 98 percent of businesses, and the payroll tax would be eliminated for firms that add new workers to their payroll or increase preexisting wages.

“Small business is the engine of economic development,” Schultz said.

According to the act, tax cuts will be expanded to 160 million workers who will receive a 50 percent cut in payroll taxes in 2012. This will provide a $1,500 tax cut for the “typical family.”

The act lays out two programs to put workers back to work. A “Returning Heroes” hiring tax credit has been proposed that would provide tax credit to encourage the hiring of veterans. “Project Rebuild” would focus on hiring people to work renovating homes and businesses.

“We are at our strongest when everyone does their fair share and everyone gets a fair shake,” Schultz said of the $500 billion bill. “This bill is fully paid for in a fair way, including closing corporate loopholes and asking America’s wealthiest to pay their fair share.”

The White House website said Obama will call on a Joint Committee to come up with additional deficit reductions to pay for the plan. A detailed plan will be released in the next week.

Schultz advocated for the act and stressed that it will create more jobs and expand the economy instantly as well as create thousands of construction jobs to fix American infrastructure.

“It would make it easier for workers to remain connected to the workforce as well as give them skills for the future,” she said.

During the half-hour conference call, Modi also discussed the president’s full repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

“[The president has initiated] a full repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ so our friends that are serving can [do so] without discharge from that unfair policy,” he said.

Schultz expressed adamantly her desire for young adults to have a voice in the political arena through the bill.

“Young people have always been an important voice in the Democratic party,” she said. “I got my own start in youth politics with the College Democrats. I decided it was important that a voice for young people was heard in our political discussions.”

During the first part of the call, Modi pointed to the Affordable Care Act as an example of Obama’s past achievements.

“The Affordable Care Act led to health care becoming more affordable and accessible for young people,” Modi said. “A lot of folks in college are benefiting from that, especially folks that are graduating.”

Under the act, dependents can stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

The act now provides 12 million young adults with coverage. But 30 percent of that demographic is still uninsured — a rate that Modi said is higher than that of any other group’s across the board.
Modi said that Obama’s main goal is to provide jobs and student aid for young adults.

“[It’s] the pinnacle of what the president wants to do, from how student loans work, to predatory lending."


  1. Only took him 2 years...And he had the numbers in the first two to get something done, but didn't.

    Got a great piece by LA Times writer Andrew Malcolm about Obama's "We need this done now" attitude. Yet he has taken forever to do anything.


    I think he has a real shot at getting uprooted in the next election. This guy is as lame as it gets.

    And you guys fall for it.

  2. I have no problem with critiques of the president and the Democratic Party on their absence of policy making during the first two years.

    He has been a lame duck president thus far for progressives, despite health care reform,the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell," the executive order to not defend DOMA, and other policies not affecting GDP.

    In the words of James Carville:

    "It's the economy, stupid!"

    That won Clinton an election. The extension of the Bush Tax Cuts really discouraged progressives.

    As for falling for it? We certainly did, but I don't think he is cooked, because polling data shows that Obama is a far second to Congress right now in dissatisfaction...and I am talking about the House.

    I am forced to believe and hope that Obama was taking a more centrist stance to gain independent voters in his first term. I can only hope that, if reelected with nothing to lose, he turns into the Progressive Champion he campaigned on.

  3. Well said...here's to a renewed faith in hope and change

  4. it's the economy stupid

    best politial slogan ever