MIAMI (CBS4) – In Thursday’s address before the Joint Session of Congress, President Barack Obama detailed his plan called the “American Jobs Act.”

It would cost nearly $450 billion, though the President says it won’t add to the deficit. It would cut payroll taxes in half for 160 million workers and extend unemployment benefits. The plan would spend money on rebuilding infrastructure, including schools.

The President also says the plan would offer tax credits to businesses who hire long-term unemployed workers and would allow more Americans to refinance their homes at today’s near four percent interest rates.

Likely watching this speech very closely were the 14 million unemployed Americans.

South Florida’s jobless rate is higher than the national average.

Donavan Clarke and Angelica Gonzalez are two of those unemployed Americans. They have been jobless for more than a year.

“Going on two years now,” said Clarke.

“I’ve been looking for that full time position for a good while,” said Gonzalez.

As they watched the President’s address, they both worried about how much time it would take for Congress to make some impact on their emptying bank accounts.

“The longer they take to get things going is the longer it takes to reach us,” said Clarke.

“I’m just really hoping it gets passed,” said Gonzalez.

While Gonzalez supports the President’s new plan, she also has concerns. She’s looking for work in the medical industry, but she heard the President say, “We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.”

“He didn’t mention any timeline as to when it would be back to what it was before, what it is now, or what better possibilities it could be,” said Gonzalez.

Those questions, she says, could make the medical industry nervous to hire.

For Clarke, the most important issue is whether Congress can help keep jobs in the U.S.

“My job was outsourced to India,” said Clarke.

Donavan worked in global banking. He supports the President’s message about the U.S. tax code: “It should give an advantage to companies that invest and create jobs right here in the United States of America,” the President said.

“When the President talks about keeping jobs here in America, I can very much vouch for that,” said Clarke.

They both say Congress needs to act quickly on some plan, putting politics aside.

“Regardless of our political differences, we need to come together and just get through this,” said Gonzalez.

Both Clarke and Gonzalez say they’re not picky. They’re looking for any work. They hope to be among those hired if businesses are given more incentives to hire.

Comments (8)
  1. CHERYL says:

    There are [plenty of jobs anywhere leave applicants the opportunity to prove themselves when hired and stop the last decade practice of applying online, and no options when you do not know anyone inside the company you are applying for a job.
    It has been going to far the ridiculous process of applying and get hired, to much exigency and too much discrimination. It does not matter what degree do you have anymore what counts is the amount of plastic surgery that you made to your bubbies and other parts of your body.
    STOP THE UNFAIR PRACTICES AND GET REAL AND GIVE EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY, IF THEY DO NOT PROVE THEMSELVES GOOD AFTER A PROBATIONARY PERIOD THEN FIRE THEM.

    1. Me says:

      I agree one zillion percent. Only in Miami. My problem is I don’t speak fluent Spanish, and am not going to learn it. I am in an English speaking country born and raised and not planning on leaving it.

  2. B McLaughlin says:

    I hope that these people aren’t actually counting on an Obama plan to get them a job! This is nothing but “Failed Stimulus, the Sequel”, designed to help Obama’s reelection campaign. The one thing that ALL Obama plans have in common is that they don’t work. Speaking of “work”; how does Obama justify calling for more American jobs and American made products oversees when Jeffrey Immelt is sitting next to his wife in the audience ? The CEO of GE has shipped more American jobs to China than any other THREE American companies combined. Obama’s words once again don’t match his actions.

    1. Lizzie says:

      You are so correct about Jeffrey Immelt, the chief of outsourcing! It’s a disgrace and the only thing the public can do is boycott, where possible, any GE products in a personal form of retaliation.

    2. Jimbo99 says:

      LOL, only because what Clinton & Bush started has worked so well ? Obama’s only doing exactly what Bush did for a 2nd term and also going out in 2008.

      1. B McLaughlin says:

        So, what’s your point? If it didn’t work for Clinton or Bush…keep doing it? That’s MY point! Government doesn’t create jobs. If anything, government stands in the way of job creation. When the government will get out of the way of the private sector, and let this country get back to doing what it does best, the economy will recover. As long as arrogant, incompetent, clueless bureaucrats are involved, the only winners are the people that want “something for nothing”. And really, “LOL” ! What are you, 12?

  3. Lizzie says:

    The “plan” has more than a few worries. Why, if Social Security is close to bankruptcy, would the President have fewer dollars contributed to it by both corporations and existing employees? Shovel-ready jobs are all but nonexistent and will take years to materialize with the infrastructure building proposed. It would have been more effective for him to have said: (1) We will increase offshore and onshore oil drilling; (2) I will rein in the NRLB and the EPA with all its job-killing regulations and pushes for increased unionization; (3) we will allow corporations with trillions overseas to repatriate that money with NO taxes (after all, these firms have paid foreign taxes on their profits); and (4) my favorite although something never to happen, we will repeal Obamacare.

  4. CAM says:

    STIMULUS II IS EXACTLY WHAT THIS SHOULD BE CALLED..AND IT WILL FAIL ALSO. I CAN’T BLAME GE FOR OUTSOURCING THERE BUSINESS, IF I COULD CUT MY TAX BURDEN IN HALF OR MORE AND COULD WORK IN A CORPORATE FRIENDLY COUNTRY THAT DOESN’T HAVE THEIR HANDS DEEPER INTO MY POCKETS EVERY TIME I TURN A PROFIT..WHY WOULDN’T I? THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO EASE THE TAX BURDENS AND REGULATIONS ON CORPORATIONS IN THIS COUNTRY. BY DOING SO IT WOULD MAKE EASIER FOR THEM TO BE PROFITABLE HERE, AND HIRE EMPLOYEES HERE, WHO WILL BE PAYING TAXES HERE, AND SPENDING THEIR HARD EARNED MONEY HERE. ALSO SOMEONE MENTIONED LIFTING THE MORATORIUM ON OIL/GAS DRILLING AND EXPLORATION…YES!!!!!! THAT WOULD ALMOST IMMEDIATELY LOWER GAS PRICES AND EVERYTHING THAT THOSE PRICES AFFECT, AND CREATE MILLIONS OF JOBS. THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. IF A FEW PEOPLE HERE IN THIS FORUM CAN FIGURE IT OUT WHY CAN’T OUR GOVERNMENT? THAT IS WHERE THE FRUSTRATION COMES FROM.