Obama makes jobs a top priority

January 28th, 2010 by

WASHINGTON (FreeP.com)– A new jobs bill, $30 billion to get community banks lending to small businesses again and a return to fiscal discipline: President Barack Obama laid out big plans in Wednesday night’s State of the Union address that could be good news for Michigan and across the U.S.

If he and Congress deliver.

Despite billions of dollars in stimulus money and stopgap financing to prop up two of Detroit’s restructured automakers, Michigan is still hurting — its 14.6% jobless rate is higher than other states and its foreclosure rate is among the highest in the nation.

Many people can’t find work, small-business owners are unable to find financing and Obama’s previously announced foreclosure avoidance plans have left some homeowners unimpressed.

Obama said the situation could be even worse without his administration’s efforts, however.

“The worst of the storm has passed,” he said. “But the devastation remains.”

He called for doubling exports that could help automakers and suppliers, new tax credits for small-business investment, refinancing for homeowners facing hard times and, at the same time, a freeze on discretionary spending to begin in 2011 to rein in federal spending.

Critics were waiting for results.

“Despite the president’s rhetoric tonight, the facts suggest Americans are living in a very different reality, one in which a record 12 million are claiming unemployment benefits,” said U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, a Midland Republican.

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