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President Will Call For 'Grand Bargain' For Middle-Class Jobs

The Obama administration will lay out a plan today that's part of a renewed White House effort to jumpstart its domestic agenda and focus attention on jobs and the economy.

It's great that Obama continues to call for jobs, but why is he speaking about middle-class jobs at a facility that uses mostly temps, and is known for bad working conditions? This is what he wants to praise? What's the message here? And since I know that national political figures choose their words for very specific reasons, I wonder why he chose the term "grand bargain" to describe this proposal:

Hoping to break an impasse, President Barack Obama today will extend a new offer to congressional Republicans in which he would back an overhaul of the corporate tax system in exchange for a guarantee that a resulting one-time windfall be used to underwrite various job creation proposals.

Mr. Obama will lay out the plan in a speech he is to deliver in Chattanooga, Tenn., in a bid to win over Republican lawmakers who've opposed White House requests for new spending on roads and bridges and other projects aimed at boosting employment.

The deal is part of a renewed White House effort to jumpstart its domestic agenda and focus attention on jobs and the economy.

Last week, Mr. Obama began a series of speeches devoted to the theme that Washington needs to take more aggressive steps to shore up the middle class and to boost long-term economic growth. He is also rethinking his strategy for motivating Congress to act. In today's speech, his aim is to entice Republican lawmakers to agree to jobs proposals he has long advocated in exchange for business tax reductions that are important to the GOP's political base.

"As part of his efforts to focus Washington on the middle class, today in Tennessee the president will call on Washington to work on a grand bargain focused on middle class jobs by pairing reform of the business tax code with a significant investment in middle class jobs," said Dan Pfeiffer, senior adviser to the president.

In the past, Mr. Obama has said he would agree to reduce corporate tax rates only as part of a larger plan that would revamp the tax code for individuals, end tax advantages benefiting wealthier Americans and apply the proceeds to deficit reduction.

With no breakthrough in sight, Mr. Obama is dropping his insistence that individual tax rates be part of the package, so long as Republicans agree to plow one-time proceeds from the corporate tax overhaul into measures that Mr. Obama says would lift wages and create jobs, White House officials said.

They did not provide an estimate of the windfall's size.

Many Republicans say that any new revenues from a tax code overhaul must be devoted to covering the cost of lowering tax rates. The White House made clear that if Republicans held to that position and opposed funding for jobs programs, Mr. Obama would not go along.

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