Millionaire tax would cover cost of Obama jobs bill

@CNNMoney October 7, 2011: 5:59 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Democrats' proposed tax on millionaires would raise an estimated $453 billion, more than enough to pay for President Obama's jobs bill.

That's the latest from the Congressional Budget Office, which on Friday released its cost and revenue estimates for the American Jobs Act of 2011.

The bill calls for $447 billion in new and extended tax cuts along with additional spending on infrastructure, jobs training and housing help among other things.

On net, the legislation would reduce deficits by $6 billion over the next decade.

CBO to debt committee: Cutting now could hurt

The single largest measure in the package -- reducing revenues by $265 billion -- is an extended and expanded payroll tax cut.

Employees normally pay 6.2% on their first $106,800 of wages into Social Security, but they are now paying only 4.2%. That break is set to expire at the end of December, and Obama wants to cut the tax in half to 3.1%.

Another notable measure, costing roughly $44 billion, is an extension of emergency jobless benefits to help the long-term unemployed. Lawmakers first expanded benefits to cover 99 weeks in 2009, and have since reauthorized the expansion five times.

Other measures include tax credits for businesses that hire the long-term unemployed, and money to help local communities preserve and create jobs for teachers and first responders such as firemen.

CBO didn't weigh in on the potential economic effects of the bill -- specifically how many jobs it might create. But it did say the bill "could have a noticeable impact on economic growth and employment in the next few years."

Economists surveyed by CNNMoney soon after the president presented his plan said they thought the bill might create anywhere from 600,000 to 1.9 million jobs.

The Senate version of the bill differs from the president's original version only in that it replaced his proposals to pay for it with a 5.6% surtax on modified adjusted gross income over $1 million. The Senate is expected to vote on the amended version next week.

The House is a different story. Majority Leader Eric Cantor has said the full bill will not get a vote.

Hiring beats expectations

Many economists have lowered their forecasts for economic growth in recent weeks as the debt crisis in Europe has worsened.

No one expects the jobs bill to pass intact, and it's not clear if pieces of it will survive.

Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight, said in a research note Thursday that he assumes lawmakers will extend the payroll tax cut and emergency unemployment benefits -- and nothing more.

"Our outlook for 2012 will be even bleaker if that doesn't happen," he wrote. To top of page

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