Readers’ Viewpoint: Investing in the future
President Obama has passed his American Jobs Act (AJA) to Congress, asking them to approve the $447 billion plan to restart job growth in America. The act includes more money for infrastructure spending, as well as targeted tax incentives for companies that hire new workers.
American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletters if they think the AJA will be effective in creating jobs, if Congress passes it in its current form. Below are some of the responses.
"No, it won't be any more effective than his last plan. This plan is just more of the same ineffective thinking. [Employing] more of the same ineffective methods does not mean doing more of it will work this time. It is time that we change course and look at different methods, such as simplifying the tax code and decreasing the tax rates. When businesses feel comfortable with what the tax rates are going to be in the future, will cause them to investment more in their business and expand their business. The uncertainty and threat of tax increases cause businesses to not want to expand their business for fear the costs will be greater than the revenue."
— Eileen King, Riley County, Kan., treasurer
"I don't think that this job act will help employment in the areas that need the support. You see, I am in a career that holds everyone's life and property in its hands (at least once in [most] people's lives), this career is fire[fighting]/EMS. Everywhere in the US, cities, and counties are constantly struggling to fund fire/EMS and police jobs. In my opinion, as well as many other people in the U.S., the priorities of the government, the priorities of cities, etc., are backwards to what they need to be. They think that city parks, animal shelters, etc. are more important than a person's life and property. [Athletes are] making millions of dollars a year for playing a game, but yet you have firefighters, [emergency medical technicians], paramedics, and police officers that risk their lives on a daily basis, [work] for a minimal pay scale. Granted, there are a few places out there that pay very well. However, there are more volunteer agencies in the U.S. than paid, and currently, with the economy the way it is, volunteerism is dying because people cannot afford to volunteer because of the poor pay they receive. More money to the cities, counties, and individual fire departments would greatly increase what matters most in the U.S., that is the individual person's safety and well-being from sickness, illness, injury, fire, and criminals. This is my two cents worth, for what it is worth, however this is an honest opinion of the things that matter the most in my life."
— Chief Lonnie Kuhn, Corinth, N.C. , Volunteer Fire Department
"We need to put Americans back to work. If the payroll taxes from these new workers went directly to pay down the jobs bill, it would help justify more spending."
— John Songer, plant engineer, Rochester, N.Y., School District