In an interview with CBS, Mitt Romney tried to offer one way that he would create jobs differently than President Obama—creating a tax incentive for those who hire unemployed workers. But Romney failed to mention President Obama has been pushing those proposals in the face of Republican obstruction.
Obama for America Policy Director James Kvaal explains the policies President Obama is pushing—and Mitt Romney’s party is blocking—to help unemployed Americans:
Asked what he might do to help the unemployed on Thursday night, Mitt Romney described creating “an incentive for employers to actually hire people who had been out of work for a long time.” What Romney didn’t mention was that President Obama has been pushing for similar proposals for months—only to be blocked by Republicans in Congress, and met with silence from Governor Romney.
First, a bit of history. Back in September, as part of the American Jobs Act, the President called for providing a $4,000 tax credit for businesses that hire the long-term unemployed—a similar approach to what Romney suggested Thursday night. Yet Republicans in Congress blocked this tax credit, along with the broader package the President put forward to help workers get back on the job, at every turn. Mitt Romney provided no help, calling the President’s jobs package—which independent economists said could create as many as 1.9 million jobs, and which included several proposals Romney had supported in the past—“akin to throwing a cup of gasoline on embers.”
Since then, President Obama has continued to push for proposals that would help the long-term unemployed get the skills they need and provide small businesses with incentives to hire them—building upon the steps he has already taken, like a tax credit for businesses that hire veterans and the first overhaul of the Unemployment Insurance system in decades. He proposed a tax credit for small businesses that hire new workers and add payroll. He put forward an initiative to reform and consolidate training programs for displaced workers, along with a Community College to Career fund that would help train 2 million workers and match them with jobs in high-growth and high-demand industries. But once again, Mitt Romney has done nothing to help move these proposals through Congress.
In fact, instead of any measures that would help the unemployed get back to work, here’s what we have heard from Romney. He has praised the Ryan Budget, which includes deep cuts to investments that—if made across the board—would cut employment and training services for 1.1 million people in 2014. Rather than taking steps that would help keep teachers and first responders on the job, invest in infrastructure or strengthen manufacturing, Romney has proposed $5 trillion in tax cuts weighted towards millionaires and billionaires and going back to letting Wall Street write its own rules.
But it’s a good thing Mitt Romney finally came around to endorsing part of the President’s approach for getting more Americans back to work—now he should call on Congress to pass it.