With the country's workforce suffering a 10 percent national unemployment rate, jobs were at the forefront of Wednesday's State of the Union address.
"Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010, and that is why I am calling for a jobs bill tonight," President Barack Obama said. "... People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay."
To see Obama's comments regarding jobs yourself, follow this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYlrDESEZ5E to a CBS News clip from the State of the Union.
Acknowledging many Americans' frustration with the banking bailout, the President called for $30 billion of the bailout money repaid by the banks be used to assist community banks in extending more credit to small businesses. Obama further proposed a repeal of capital gains taxes on investments by small businesses, and he requested tax breaks for companies, both large and small, that create new jobs.
Charles Ballard, Michigan State University economist, told the Detroit News the president's proposals for businesses will be helpful.
“But we have to understand that given the damage that was done to the economy a year or so ago, it is going to take time,” he said. “And there is no set of policies that are a silver bullet.”
Michael Rogers, spokesman for the Small Business Association of Michigan, told the Detroit News any incentive Congress passes to make credit more available would certainly help small businesses.
“We hear all the time from small businesses that one of the major problems they face in this downturn is access to credit,” he said.
Luke Canfora, Michigan director of Repower America, a clean-energy advocacy group, told the Detroit News it's important clean energy is at the forefront of the President’s agenda.
"Here in Michigan, where so many auto jobs have been lost, we are ready to transition to green jobs," Canfora said.
For more statewide opinions of the President’s remarks Wednesday night regarding jobs, the economy and other issues read this article from The Detroit News: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100128/POLITICS02/1280421/1022/local/State-politicians-weigh-in-on-Obama-State-of-the-Union-speech#ixzz0dvln7rYk