Is the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act the answer to America’s job crisis?
By: Treasure White
The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act passed last week creates a fresh breath of air from the battle over the health care reform and stimulus bills on Capital Hill. This bipartisan proposal was organized through Senators Chuck Schumer, D-NY and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah and passed through congress with a 70-28 vote.
The new bill will enact three major provisions:
1. Tax break for companies hiring new workers. It would exempt businesses hiring the unemployed from the 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax through December and give them an additional $1,000 credit if new workers stay on the job a full year
2. Tax break for small business equipment purchases. This will extend a tax break for small businesses buying new equipment and modestly expand an initiative that helps state and local governments pay for infrastructure projects.
3. Highway funding. Highways and mass transit programs through the end of the year and pump $20 billion into them in time for the spring construction season. The money would make up for lower-than-expected gasoline tax revenues.
This new bill creates a new spirit of cooperation between congressional leaders that with hopes will build a more trusting relationship amongst the American people for their coarsely divided governing system.
In contrast to last years $862 million dollar stimulus package, this bill focuses primarily on finding unemployed workers with new jobs. Economist foresee this bill creating around 250,000 new jobs in the near future, but this projection does not replenish the estimated 8.4 million jobs lost since December of 2007. Additionally, some critic’s reproach that with such a small price tag, job relief efforts will not be felt unless more legislation is passed in the near future.