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FOLLOWING THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD

June Smith

 
President Obama has been traveling around the country talking about his economic plan and increasing his war chest.
 
The Golden Boy has put his gleaming ideas on a “To Do List” for Congress. Now that he’s declared that the private sector is doing ok, he wants to put Americans back to work and wants Congress to give small business owners tax breaks, among other endeavors.

According to the White House, the plan du jour is called “Jobs and the Economy: Putting American Back to Work”.

Here’s the plan, taken directly from the White House website. It is “posted” on a yellow “Congress To Do List” faux Post-It® Note, next to a countdown clock, ticking away the days, hours, minutes and seconds Congress has left before being able to drawing a line through each item:

Reward American Jobs Not Outsourcing

▪Expand Refinancing for Responsible Homeowners

▪Invest in Tax Credits for Small Business Jobs

▪Invest in Clean Energy Manufacturing

▪Create a Veterans Jobs Corps

▪Clean Out the Garage. Just kidding about that one, folks.

All the boowah, booha, bushway, blah blah and gory details can be found there, as well.

Topping the list is helping to spur on American manufacturing. While in Minneapolis to attend three private fundraising luncheons recently, the President was whisked six or so miles down 1-394 W to speak at Honeywell’s Golden Valley, Minnesota facility where he explained his plan for that.

Honeywell “is a partner in Obama’s Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and the administration’s ‘Joining Forces’ program”, whatever they are.  

He told the hopeful group that, “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.

“…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.”

Beforehand, a White House Senior Administration Officer (WHSAO) said passing such legislation will “attract and keep good jobs in the United States by rewarding companies who bring jobs back to America with lower taxes and pay for it by eliminating tax incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas.”

The President also expounded on his plan to create a Veteran Job Corps, called the “We Can’t Wait” plan.

 
According to a WHSAO, Advanced Manufacturing Partner/ “Joining Forces” team player Honeywell “clearly recognizes the value of those who have served this county, and they are a great example of a private company who has really made a strong commitment to hire veterans.”

Honeywell hired 610 veterans in 2011 and has hired more than 300 veterans so far this year. That’s admirable, to say the least, considering the unemployment rate for veterans was 8.3 percent in 2011.

“As thousands of our servicemen and women return for the end of the war in Iraq and the start of a responsible drawdown in Afghanistan, now more than ever we must fulfill our duty to them,” said the WHSAO previously.

“More than 80 percent of manufacturers have reported shortages of skilled talent for the jobs that require the certificates the initiative will provide,” the WHSAO said, adding, “Veterans learned the skills those employers are seeking through their military training.”

The “We Can’t Wait” plan will “provide opportunities for up to 126,000 service members to gain industry-recognized, nationally portable certifications for high-demand manufacturing jobs,” according to the WHSAO.

So POTUS has ordered the Defense Department to catapult the “We Can’t Wait” plan into action this summer. Friday, September 21st is officially the last day of the summer of 2012. Time is of the essence. A gaggle of White House Junior Administration Officials must be very busy spurring on the war horse Defense Department to put the program in place.

There’s no need for taxpayers to worry about the cost of the “We Can’t Wait” program. It will be “minimal, in the tens of thousands of dollars,” and will come from existing budgets, according to the WHSAO.

To advance the plan, Congress has been tasked with creating a Veterans Jobs Corps to help returning members of the military find work as police officers, firefighters and other public service jobs.

I’m in full support of anything beneficial for our troops and hope the plan works but this all smells like just another Victory Campaign debate agenda item to me. 

The president also elaborated on Expanding Refinancing for Responsible Homeowners (ERFRH).

 
Note to a WHSAO: start another Post-It® Note list. ERFRH will no doubt require legislation to clarify and determine the definition and guidelines of “responsible” homeownership.
 
Obama wants everyone deemed eligible to benefit from ERFRH. He told the Honeywell employees, “There’s some folks here who could use $3,000 a year.
 
“Let’s get that done right now. That means, you know, if you got $3000 a year extra, that helps you pay down your credit cards, that helps you go out and buy some things that your family needs which is good for business.
 
“Maybe somebody will be replacing some thingamajig for their furnace. They been putting that off, but if they got that extra money, they might just go out there and buy that thing. Right?”
 
Right? Too early to tell and it seems like a hefty task for Congress, given everything else on the list while the clock’s ‘a tickin.
 
All I know is that if $3K were to come my way from any government plan, I’d use it to buy gold.
 
 
June Smith is the widow WBAL talk show host and Sun columnist, Ron Smith, who posthumously received an Emmy® for his lifetime achievement in television and radio at WBAL in Baltimore, MD. Smith was a media titan in the central Maryland area and beyond for almost forty years. Mrs. Smith’s tribute website honoring his legacy is www.FriendsofRonSmith.com.  She is working diligently to raise one million dollars for the Ron Smith Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at Johns Hopkins and is an advocate for H.R. 733, the Pancreatic Cancer Research Education Act. Her email is june@friendsofronsmith.com.






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