President Obama announced Friday while visiting the Navy Yard in Washington that he was extending tax credits for businesses employing retired service men and women, the silver lining to news of a 9.1 percent unemployment rate and as part of his kick off to a nationwide economic tour.
Days after lifting the debt ceiling, Obama unveiled plans to offer businesses millions of dollars in tax credits and learning programs to employ out-of-work veterans.
The administration is prepared to offer companies two credits: the Returning Heroes credit for able-bodied veterans and the Wounded Warrior credit for those with service-related disabilities.
With the Returning Heroes credit, firms can claim a maximum credit of $2,400 per veteran for short-term hires and $4,800 for long-term hires.
The Wounded Warrior credit will increase the existing tax credit for firms that hire unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities long-term to a maximum of $9,600 per veteran. It will also continue the existing maximum credit for all veterans with a service-connected disability at $4,800 per hire.
The White House is also seeking to provide assistance for a "reverse boot camp," that will prepare service members to rejoin the civilian world; an initiative delivering enhanced career development and a job search service package at career centers.
"Our incredible servicemen and women need to know that America values them not simply for what they can do in uniform, but for what they can do when they come home," Obama proclaimed.
The White House revealed that the jobless rate among post 9/11 veterans alone is at 13.3 percent. Additionally the July employment report shows the national jobless rate is 9. 1 percent – a slight improvement from 9.2 percent in June – according to news reports.
The jobs report turned out better than analyst had expected with 117,000 new jobs compared to 85,000 that were predicted. Obama voiced his optimism, "Things will get better and we're going to get there together."
The president has also challenged the private sector to commit to hiring or training 100,000 unemployed veterans and their spouses by the end of 2013. Firms such as Microsoft, Humana, Honeywell and others will be participating in the program.
Obama said he plans to work together with Congress and the new “super committee,” that was tasked with proposing additional spending cuts after the August recess to reduce the deficit and create jobs.
“So when Congress gets back in September, I want to move quickly on things that will help the economy create jobs right now – extending the payroll tax credit to put $1,000 in the pocket of the average worker, extending unemployment insurance to help people get back on their feet, putting construction workers back to work rebuilding America,” Obama said.
The “super committee,” as it is being called, was established in the debt compromise bill that the president signed into law Tuesday. However, 46 percent of all Americans disapprove of the agreement reached by the president and Congress, according to a recent Gallup poll. Only 39 percent approved of the recent budget agreement.
Additionally, Obama's approval rating following the deal rests at 41 percent. Fifty-two percent of poll participants said they disapprove of the job he is doing as president.
The president is hitting the road again in an attempt to reconnect with voters. He attended a campaign fundraiser in his honor Wednesday night in Chicago and will soon embark on a two-week tour around the country to discuss the economy and visit the Midwest.