- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 13, 2011

President Obama took his campaign for a second stimulus bill and higher taxes Tuesday to the home state of Speaker John A. Boehner, urging Ohioans to tell Republican lawmakers to “stop worrying about their jobs and start worrying about your jobs.”

“This isn’t about giving me a win,” Mr. Obama told an audience at a newly renovated high school in Columbus, Ohio. “It’s about giving the American people a win.”

Mr. Obama sent his $447 billion jobs bill to Congress Monday, including $60 billion for rebuilding schools and hiring teachers. The administration’s first stimulus bill in 2009 spent about $100 billion on education programs, mostly to prevent teacher layoffs.

The White House proposes to pay for the plan with a mix of tax increases — limiting itemized deductions for families earning more than $250,000 per year, and ending tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge-fund managers and corporate jet owners.

“Ohio, if you pass this bill, then tens of thousands of construction workers right here in this state will have a job again,” Mr. Obama said.

President Obama walks on stage before speaking at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School in Columbus, Ohio, on Sept. 13, 2011. (Associated Press)
President Obama walks on stage before speaking at Fort Hayes Arts and ... more >

As if to exert added pressure on Mr. Boehner, Ohio Republican, Education Secretary Arne Duncan pointed out that Ohio public schools would receive $985 million in the plan to modernize buildings and hire teachers.

Mr. Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, say they are open to parts of the jobs plan, but they oppose the president’s proposal to tax wealthier Americans to pay for the bill.

“I just don’t think that’s going to help our economy the way it could,” Mr. Boehner said.

“Now is not the time to raise taxes on anybody if we are trying to grow this economy,” Mr. Cantor said Tuesday at an event hosted by the American Action Forum, a think tank. “What you see is a tax on the very people you would expect and want to create jobs.”

Mr. Cantor also said it’s a bad idea to discourage charitable donations in dire economic times.

“Why would we want to put an impediment in the way of the charities accessing funding when the charities are the ones out there helping the people in need right now?” he said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

Although Mr. Obama is tirelessly using the phrase “pass this bill,” he let it slip that he would accept it if Congress passes only parts of the legislation. The president told a group of journalists Monday, “Obviously, if they pass parts of it, I am not going to veto those parts.”

But senior adviser David Axelrod continued to insist Tuesday that the bill is an all-or-nothing proposition.

“We’re not in a negotiation to break up the package,” Mr. Axelrod said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “It’s not an a la carte menu. The president has a package; the package works together. We need to do many things to get this economy moving.”

Mr. Obama and his press secretary, Jay Carney, said the president would continue to push for the rest of his proposals if lawmakers don’t approve them all at once.

Story Continues →