Manchin has reservations on Obama's jobs bill [Williamson Daily News, W.Va.]
(Williamson Daily News (WV) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Sept. 18--WASHINGTON -- Senator Joe Manchin said he sees some "good, bad, and ugly" in the jobs package the President presented last week.
Manchin said there were two major issues involved in the financial crisis facing the country -- the deficit facing the government and the bleak jobs outlook.
As for creating job growth, Sen. Manchin said he had "serious reservations" about some of the ideas put forth in Obama's jobs bill.
"If spending money solved our crises, we would be okay," Manchin said. "When the President first spoke to Congress, I had some serious reservations. After we did a breakdown on the numbers, I was even more skeptical. At $450 billion, it is a tremendous cost, with a doubtful return on investment."
Manchin said he worries that the bill includes ideas that have been tried before and failed, at tremendous cost to taxpayers.
He cited the example of Solyndra, a company that manufactures solar panels. It was recently reported that the company received $535 billion in an expedited process then declared bankruptcy.
"The taxpayers were on the hook for that guaranteed loan -- and now we're $500 million deeper in debt," Manchin said. "After dedicating $38.6 billion in loan money to create 65,000 jobs, the Department of Energy can account for fewer than 3,600 jobs. That's almost $1 million a job."
The senator said the bipartisan group of 36 that assembled this week to urge the committee on deficit reduction is a "pretty serious" sign.
"I'm really hopeful," he said about the deficit committee's efforts.
He said he thought one key to reducing the deficit was to pay down the debt using new money brought in by a fair tax system.
"We need to make sure we put a fairness to our tax system and end the loopholes, offsets and credits," Manchin said. "We can't have a company like GE pay nothing in taxes and it's just not fair that Warren Buffet pays a lower tax rate than his secretary."
Manchin said there are some things in the President's jobs program he supports, such as an infrastructure bank, and investments to help employ veterans.
"Looking ahead, I truly believe we must come together to address both our jobs and deficit crisis -- and I know we can," Manchin said. "I know that political proposals won't cut it -- politics will divide us, but real commonsense solutions will bring us together
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