A Response to President Obama's Jobs Speech

President Obama’s plan to address America’s job crisis contains many positive elements. If fully enacted, White House proposals would modestly stimulate economic growth, lead to new hiring, reduce hardship among the millions of Americans who are now unemployed, and boost long-term prosperity by strengthening the nation’s infrastructure and education system.

Yet the President’s plan does not go nearly far enough given the magnitude of the jobs crisis, with 25 million Americans unemployed or underemployed – many for over two years now. Total proposed spending of around $447 billion, while higher than expected, is still too low to make up for today’s shortage of demand in a $15 trillion economy. In addition, our elected leaders need to go much further to not just address unemployment, but to also rebuild the middle class. Additional needed steps include: raising labor standards to ensure that jobs pay a middle class wage, making it easier for workers to join unions, doing more to aid small businesses, and directly creating public jobs.