President Barack Obama’s jobs bill, “The American Jobs Act,” which he introduced last night in front of a joint Congressional session and a national TV audience, is a sweeping $450 billion collection of tax breaks, job stimulus and aid aimed to help relieve the country’s mounting unemployment. So, what does the jobs bill as proposed – it will almost certainly look nothing like it does now if it ends up passing – mean for the field service industry?
Depending on how these proposals are implemented if passed, it could be quite a bit. Let’s take a look.
There’s an immediate payroll tax break for both workers and small businesses with payrolls under $5 million. Payroll taxes are both taxes the employers withhold from employees as pre-check deductions, as well as taxes businesses pay the government to cover the costs of having employees. Obama’s proposal would save someone making $52,000 per year about $1,500 over the course of a year, and would half the 6.2 percent Social Security tax for business to 3.1 percent. Both cuts would last through 2012.
After the tax breaks, the proposals get less specific, but there’s certainly a fair amount of proposals that will require work from field service professional, including:
- $25 billion in investments in school infrastructure, which could include anything from plumbing to HVAC, telecom setup and more.
- $50 billion investment in transportation infrastructure. This most likely means building and fixing highways, roads and bridges, but could also include renovating train and bus stations as well as airports, and laying new fiber optic lines under new roads as the bill also mentions a plan to “deploy high-speed wireless services to at least 98 percent of Americans.”
- $15 billion for investment in foreclosed properties.
In general, there’s a lot of emphasis on so-called “shovel-ready” projects – construction that could be started immediately to get people back to work – and these types of projects often include people in field service at some point.
Of course there are major caveats in speculating on anything specific in the bill. As with anything politics, nothing is guaranteed and there will most certainly be a ton of revision to the bill before it passes. If it ever does. And of course, there’s the awful question of just how to pay for it.
But small businesses in field service especially, should pay attention to how this bill develops as it may end up directly affecting them.
This article is copyright © 2011