TO: Interested Parties FR: David Axelrod, Senior Strategist Congress Needs to Listen to the American People and Pass the

American Jobs Act
The American people are focused like a laser on doing everything we can to create jobs now and restore economic security for the middle class. The stakes couldn’t be higher as leading economists from across the political spectrum warn that immediate action is needed to create jobs and avoid another downturn in the economy. And the American Jobs Act is the only plan that does what needs to be done: provide immediate relief to families and create jobs now. As the President Pushes the American Jobs Act Support Continues to Grow Since introducing the American Jobs Act (AJA), the American people have rallied around President Obama’s call for Congress to pass this plan. In an early September, 43% supported the AJA and 35% were opposed (CNN/ORC Poll 9/11/11). After three weeks of advocacy by the President, support has grown by nearly 10% so that 52% support the plan with 36% opposed (ABC/Washington Post Poll 10/5/11). And 58% of Americans believe that if the AJA passes, it will improve the job situation in the country. The more people know about the American Jobs Act; the more they hear the President talking about it; the more they want Congress to pass the plan. Large Majorities Support What’s in the American Jobs Act It’s no surprise that Americans are rallying around the President’s American Jobs Act because large majorities like what’s in it. In the early September CNN/ORC poll,  74% support providing money to state governments to allow them to hire teachers and first responders;

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65% support cutting the payroll tax for all American workers; 64% support increased federal spending to build and repair roads, bridges and schools; 58% support cutting the payroll tax for all American businesses.

The American people agree with economists across the political spectrum who are saying that the AJA will immediately create jobs and put more money in the pockets of middle class Americans who are struggling to make ends meet. Yet Republican leaders – from Congress to the presidential campaign trail – have been steadfast in their opposition without providing an alternative that would create jobs now. The Republican Alternative: Instead of Creating Jobs, Repeal Wall Street Reform, Cut Taxes for Corporations and Millionaires According to Senator McCain’s former economic advisor, the Republican economic proposals “won’t mean much for the economy and job market in the next year.” And he noted that “given the high odds of another recession in the next few months, it is vital for Congress and the administration to provide some near-term support to the economy.” There is no Republican alternative that would create jobs now. Not from Republicans in Congress, and not from the Republican presidential candidates. They believe that we can simply cut our way to prosperity, even if it means wiping out investments in education and research and development. And they have proposed a return to economic policies that led to challenges we are still confronting – more tax breaks for large corporations, more tax cuts for the wealthiest, and allowing Wall Street to write its own rules. In order to prevent oversight of Wall Street, Republicans are blocking the confirmation of the President’s well-qualified and widely respected nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This means that policies to protect consumers from predatory lending that have already been signed into law can’t be implemented. The fundamental question in advance of tomorrow’s vote is this: will Republicans put country ahead of party and pass this bill? Or will they oppose a bill that would create jobs now and that the American people support while standing by their proposals to extend tax cuts for large corporations, millionaires and billionaires while allowing Wall Street to write its own rules?

It’s Not Class Warfare, It’s Math By a huge majority, Americans support the measure that the United States Senate will consider as the way to pay for the American Jobs Act so that it won’t add one dime to our nation’s deficit. In this week’s ABC/Washington Post poll 75% of Americans supported raising taxes on Americans with incomes over one million dollars a year. And while Republicans may claim that this is class warfare, the American people are seeing right through their opposition to asking the wealthiest to do their part. In this same ABC/Washington Post poll, 70% said that Republicans care more about protecting the economic interests of wealthy Americans. So as Republicans say no to each proposal that President Obama makes to put people back to work and relentlessly defend the special breaks and loopholes for the wealthiest and Wall Street, they are rapidly losing the faith of the American people on the number one issue people care about: jobs.

And while the President pushes and Republicans say no, trust in creating jobs has gone from a tie in early September to a 15% advantage for the President. And among independents, Republicans have gone from a 5% advantage to a 13% disadvantage. The American people work hard and they expect that everyone has to play by the same rules. What they are seeing and hearing from Washington is a Republican Party that refuses to work with the President to get people back to work and rejects any idea that asks the wealthiest and Wall Street to do their part to help this country and its people while expecting the middle class to carry the entire burden. Since Republicans Have Obstructed Action, Approval for Congress at Historic Low

The American people could not be clearer about what they want Congress to focus on: creating jobs now. Fifty-nine percent of Americans ranked the economy and jobs as the top issue with only 8% talking about the debt and deficits. And they don’t want to see the typical gamesmanship and delay because a majority (53%) believe that America is in or headed into another recession (CBS/NYT Poll 9/16/11). So as members of Congress take up the American Jobs Act this week they need to understand that their failure to focus on what matters most to Americans is why disapproval for Congress is at a historic high – 80 percent (CBS/NYT Poll 9/16/11). It’s time that they listened to the American people, focus on jobs and pass the American Jobs Act. ###

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