President Obama takes jobs plan to North Carolina
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is pitching his jobs plan in North Carolina, visiting a business that the White House says would benefit from the proposals he's been pressing Congress to pass right away.
Obama was to appear Wednesday in the Raleigh-Durham area to tour a machine company and give his third speech in as many days, highlighting the help he says his plan would extend to small businesses.
More than half of the nearly $450 billion plan Obama sent to Congress last week is devoted to tax cuts and tax credits to encourage businesses to hire.
But Obama is proposing to pay for the plan by raising taxes on big corporations and the wealthy, an idea that isn't sitting well with Republicans in Congress.
"We got to make sure that everybody pays their fair share," Obama said Tuesday in Ohio.
Obama would cover most of the cost of his jobs initiatives, nearly $400 billion, by limiting the itemized deductions wealthier people can take. He would get $40 billion by closing tax loopholes for oil and gas companies, $18 billion from imposing higher taxes on certain income from investment fund managers and $3 billion from changing how the tax code treats corporate jets.
Obama has run these ideas by Congress in the past and has gotten nowhere.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Obama was essentially daring Republicans to vote against his ideas again. "I think most people see through all this," McConnell said.
For businesses, Obama's package would cut the taxes that employers and employees pay to fund Social Security. It also proposes tax credits worth thousands of dollars to encourage businesses to hire veterans as well as people who've been out of work for more than six months.
It's those incentives for businesses that Obama planned to highlight on the trip to WestStar Precision, a small business headquartered in Apex, N.C., a Raleigh suburb. The company makes specialized components for the aerospace, medical and alternative energy industries, according to its website, and also has offices and a manufacturing facility in Costa Rica.
Since Obama outlined his jobs proposal to Congress, he has been working almost daily to drum up support, imploring lawmakers to pass the bill "right away" and urging a public worried about the lack of jobs to press lawmakers to act.
The president's urgency on the issue is political, too. With the economic recovery stalled, unemployment holding at 9.1 percent and people losing confidence in his handling of the issue, he needs to show progress on the economy as the GOP presidential campaign against him gains steam.
Along with North Carolina and Ohio, Obama also has visited Virginia during the past week. Obama won those three states in the 2008 presidential election and probably will need to win them again to get re-elected.
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