Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Schumer-Hatch on Jobs

Surprisingly, Chuck Shumer (and Hatch!) are showing more initiative than the White House in creating jobs:

Here’s the idea: Starting immediately after enactment, any private-sector employer that hires a worker who had been unemployed for at least 60 days will not have to pay its 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax on that employee for the duration of 2010. The Social Security trust fund will then be made whole with spending cuts elsewhere in the budget between now and 2015. That’s it. Simple to understand, and easy to explain.

The beauty of this proposal goes beyond its simplicity. Unlike a jobs tax credit of a specific dollar amount, this credit is “front-loaded” in that it provides an incentive for businesses to hire workers earlier in the year — because the tax benefit will be greater. A $60,000 worker hired on Feb. 1 will save a business about $3,400 in taxes, while that same worker hired on May 1 will save it about $2,500.

While this would have been more welcome a couple of years ago, this is welcome now.

There's a strain of thought out there that Republicans are being needlessly partisan in refusing to endorse any major Democrat initiative. Setting aside the issue of whether the Senate should operate on a supermajority or not, Hatch's support on this suggests that Republican votes are available for conservative legislation.

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