Mo. senators weigh in on President’s upcoming jobs speech | St. Louis Public Radio

Mo. senators weigh in on President’s upcoming jobs speech

Sep 7, 2011

President Barack Obama will be in a challenging position Thurs. night as he presents his jobs plan to a joint session of Congress, according to Mo. Sen. Claire McCaskill.

In a conference call with reporters Wed., McCaskill said most Missourians want Congress to cut spending, but it will be difficult for the federal government to embark on a giant jobs programs without spending money.

“I’m hopeful the President’s plan will be revenue neutral, in other words, not add in any way to the deficit,” said McCaskill. “But be significant enough that it could help in a painfully slow recovery. It’s a recovery, but it’s a painfully slow recovery.”

 People familiar with the White House deliberations on the jobs package say Obama is considering a plan totaling about $300 billion in tax cuts and spending for 2012.

Two of the biggest measures are expected to be a one-year extension of a Social Security tax cut for workers and a continuation of unemployment benefits. Those items would total about $170 billion.

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt believes neither measure would create a single job.

“The unemployment benefit extension eventually becomes another reason for employers to not create jobs because they have to pay into that fund that was never designed to be a never ending benefit,” said Blunt in a conference call with reporters Wed.

 Blunt said reducing Social Security taxes for workers only robs future Social Security recipients. But he says he might be able to support the measures if they are part of a bigger job creation package.