Small business owner responds to $447 billion jobs plan

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - President Obama was in Virginia Friday afternoon touting his plan to get America back to work.

"Everything in the American's jobs act is the kind of proposal that been supported in the past by both Democrats and Republicans," Obama said.

But it's no cheap one.  It'll cost the country almost $450 billion.

The goal is to put more people to work and put money in the pockets of those who are working.

The question is can President Obama create enough jobs to save his own?

He came to America with 13 bucks in his pocket and a dream in his heart.

Today Philip Maung runs Hissho Sushi - one of the fastest-growing private companies in America - with 200 employees.

The Charlotte-based entrepreneur was a guest of the First Lady Thursday night during President Obama's speech on jobs.

"No question he's passionate about his plan," he said.

Maung told us he likes what the President's proposing but like many people has doubts.  "Whether or not we have enough money to support it is another issue," said Maung.

Maung says his company plans to add as many as 50 jobs by the end of the year. He says he'll do that with or without the job's plan.

In the $447 billion plan the single biggest proposal is an extension of the tax cut workers are now getting on Social Security taxes.

New in the package is that same tax break for employers.  And tax cuts for companies to hire unemployed workers and move workers to part-time status rather than fire them.

Experts say these proposals likely will pass Republican muster.

The rest of the package of what Obama is proposing is likely to be dead on arrival:  billions of dollars for infrastructure, money to keep teachers, firefighters and police officers on the job and billions to modernize public schools across the country.

"What matters how it's perceived is less about today than about what comes up over the next several weeks and months."

UNC Charlotte Political science professor Dr. Eric Heberlig expects Obama to barnstorm the country selling his plan if he hopes to win approval in Congress.

The strategy already in place.  The White House announced Friday the President will be visiting Raleigh-Durham next Wednesday to discuss the American Jobs Act - what the legislation is being called.

North Carolina is a key battleground state in Obama's bid to win a second term.

Given past stimulus packages - will this one be enough?

Said Heberlig:  "It's not the size of it that's really going to turn the economy around. it's the fact that people get the impression that he's doing what he can. He is making a serious effort and that changes the psychology of consumers and the markets."

The markets on Friday apparently weren't too impressed by the President's speech.  The Dow lost more than 300 points on Friday - down 2-percent for the week.

Obama's message couldn't overcome rising fears about fallout from Europe's debt crisis which helped trigger the downturn.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was also in his Virginia Friday speaking to a small business in his hometown. He made it clear Republicans want a say in any job's bill.

"The all or nothing approach is something that hasn't worked in Washington over the last 8 months," Cantor said.

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