Inside the Jobs Bill

Men_at_Work.gifThe President's just-announced plan, Living Within Our Means and Investing in the Future, is a comprehensive approach to solving the nation's short- and long-term problems. It includes the American Jobs Act, legislation investing $447 billion to fund teachers and public safety workers, modernize schools and other infrastructure, target job creation in low-income communities, provide extra help to long-term unemployed, youth, and other especially vulnerable groups, and protect the jobless with an extension of federal Unemployment Insurance.

It also includes $1.5 trillion in revenues from progressive sources as part of its 10-year deficit reduction plan. You may have heard the President speak of the "Buffett rule" - seeking revenue increases to prevent millionaires and billionaires from paying a lower effective tax rate than people of modest means.

This proposal also makes cuts to various mandatory programs totaling $580 billion over ten years:
  • More than $320 billion over 10 years in Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs ($248 billion in Medicare, $51 billion in Medicaid, and between $21-$25 billion in other health care savings)
  • $31 billion in reduced agriculture subsidies plus $2.1 billion in savings from conservation programs
  • $42.5 billion in reduced benefits to federal employees
  • and other mandatory savings.

While much of these savings avoid reductions in assistance to low-income and vulnerable people, there will be some shifting of health costs to states and other benefit reductions that will affect low- and moderate-income people. There are no cuts to SNAP/food stamps, child nutrition programs, SSI, TANF, or other low-income mandatory programs, however.

Taking into account an estimated $1.2 trillion in annual appropriations (domestic, international, and military) already approved, and $1.1 trillion the Administration is counting as savings from the reduction in troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, $430 billion in lowered interest payments because of reduced deficits, AND the nearly $450 billion in increased jobs spending, the total net savings is estimated at $4.4 trillion over 10 years.