Local voters ready for Obama jobs speech

Local voters ready for Obama jobs speech

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by TONY BURBECK / NewsChannel 36 Staff

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on September 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 8 at 6:01 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Voters have mixed feelings about President Obama’s proposed job stimulus plan, saying it’s hard to tell if the 2009 stimulus is working.  They’re worried about the government spending another $300 to $400 billion.

President Obama’s plan is expected to include tax cuts, business tax breaks and additional unemployment checks.  President Obama is also expected to talk about creating jobs by improving the nation’s infrastructure.

The CATS bus facility upgrade on North Davidson Street is a local example of a stimulus project.  The cost is $20.7 million, and the number of jobs reported was 34, according to a government stimulus website.

But just how many jobs "created" is less clear.  CATS says overall 186 jobs were either "created" or "retained."

When it comes to a jobs stimulus, voters like Robert Kirby say "created" should mean one thing.

"A new job to me would be one that lasts permanently, not unemployed when construction projects are over,” he said.

Voter Dominique Thompson thinks another stimulus won't work because she has a hard time seeing the first one working.

"People are still out looking for jobs and it hasn't helped any. I really think it defeats the purpose.  Keep spending money to get jobs here.  Yhat's not really coming or doing any good,” she said.

We asked Queens University McColl School of Business Economics Professor Harry Bowen if President Obama's 2009 stimulus worked.

"The basic answer in all of this is no one really knows,” Bowen said.
"We don't know exactly what would have happened in the absence of the stimulus."

Bowen says Federal money that went to states helped ease losses, but it's hard to tell what was added on or what was replaced.

And when it comes to creating versus retaining jobs?

"We have too many things going on and offsetting to kind of be able to clearly identify did it really have the effect that is claimed.  That's why you can have one person saying it did and another saying it didn't work,” Bowen said.
 

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