Speaking in Albany, New York today, President Obama highlighted a “to-do” list of five specific things Congress can do right now to grow the economy and create more jobs:
First, Congress needs to help the millions of Americans who have worked hard, made their mortgage payments on time, but still have been unable to refinance their mortgages with these historically low rates.
Families could save thousands of dollars, and that means they've got more money in their pocket, which means they can either build their equity back up on their homes or they go out and use that money to do things like helping their kids finance a college education.
Second, if Congress fails to act soon, clean energy companies will see their taxes go up and they could be forced to lay off employees … And since I know that the other side in Congress have promised they'll never raise taxes as long as they live, this is a good time to keep that promise when it comes to businesses that are putting Americans to work and helping break our dependence on foreign oil.
Number three, Congress should help small business owners by giving them a tax break for hiring more workers and paying them higher wages.
Number four, Congress should help our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan find a good job once they come home … So we should create a Veterans Job Corps that helps them find work as cops and firefighters, employees at our national parks.
Then the last item, the fifth item, which bears especially on what's going on here—the last item on our congressional "to-do" list is something that will help a lot of you in particular.
At the moment, companies get tax breaks for moving factories, jobs and profits overseas. They can actually end up saving on their tax bill when they make the move. Meanwhile, companies that choose to stay here are getting hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. That doesn’t make sense.
[In] the short term, before we completely rework the tax code, before we've done a full-blown tax reform, at the very least what we can do right away is stop rewarding companies who ship jobs overseas and use that money to cover moving expenses for companies that are moving jobs back here to America. … This is something simple to do. We shouldn’t wait. We should get it done right now.