New Jobs Bill Gives Companies New-Hire Tax Breaks

The government will give companies a 6.2% Social Security tax break for every new hire, thanks to a new $18 billion jobs bill that Congress approved yesterday. Each worker must have been unemployed for at least 60 days to qualify. Bloomberg has more details:

The Senate voted today 68-29 to send the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature. It would also expand federal subsidies for municipal bonds, increase highway spending and offer small businesses more power to write off the cost of investments.

“This is a good day for American workers,” said Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat. “This is just the first, certainly not the last piece of legislation that we will put forward in relation to jobs.”

Republicans criticized the legislation, saying the $13 billion payroll tax holiday, estimated to produce up to 234,000 jobs, would cost taxpayers too much per position created. Others criticized the bond subsidies as excessive. “This isn’t so much a jobs bill as it is a debt bill,” said Senator Judd Gregg, the ranking Republican on the Budget Committee.

The measure…would transfer almost $20 billion in tax revenue into the government’s highway trust fund while expanding subsidies for bonds financing school construction and energy related projects.

That 60 days of unemployment caveat would sway companies away from choosing more qualified, but more recently unemployed candidates. I don’t think that kind of minor detail matters in an election year, though.