President Barack Obama's freshly unveiled $447 billion jobs plan would substantially boost the economy by creating 1.9 million payroll jobs and growing the U.S. economy 2 percent, Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi said.
The plan would seek to put Americans to work with new spending on repairing infrastructure, extending a payroll tax cut that reduces the amount of incomes workers must pay into Social Security and expanding unemployment benefits, among other measures. Some Republicans have already derided the plan as a type of economic stimulus that they claim is discredited by the economy's continued struggles after the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and Zandi acknowledged the political headwinds Obama will face.
Many of the president's proposals are unlikely to pass Congress, but the most important have a chance of winning bipartisan support, Zandi said.
Still, Republican leadership in the House has signaled its willingness to negotiate the payroll tax cut and ease infrastructure spending. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) advocated splitting Obama's bill, the American Jobs Act, into smaller pieces to avoid political gridlock.
What we should do is go for the things in the package that we both can agree on, Cantor said in a statement. I did hear some things, like small business tax relief, reducing red tape, working to try and streamline the infrastructure spending in this country, and looking to reform the unemployment benefits program to get people back to work.
Zandi's upbeat assessment is consistent with his early and vocal support for aggressive government stimulus during the Obama administration.