President Considers Tax Credit to Hire Veterans

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2011 — A tax cred­it for com­pa­nies that hire mil­i­tary vet­er­ans could be the next step in help­ing the acute­ly under­em­ployed group, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma sug­gest­ed yes­ter­day in his Twit­ter town hall meet­ing.
The pres­i­dent addressed many eco­nom­ic issues sur­round­ing his theme of how to reduce the fed­er­al deficit, and was asked about jobs for vet­er­ans while field­ing ques­tions sub­mit­ted on Twit­ter.

A Twit­ter user asked the pres­i­dent, “Can you give com­pa­nies a tax break if they hire an hon­or­ably dis­charged vet­er­an?” That, Oba­ma said, is a sub­ject he’s dis­cussing with his staff.

“We’ve got all these young peo­ple com­ing back from Iraq and Afghanistan [who] have made incred­i­ble sac­ri­fices [and] have tak­en on incred­i­ble respon­si­bil­i­ties,” the pres­i­dent said.

You see some 23-year-old who’s lead­ing a pla­toon in huge­ly dan­ger­ous cir­cum­stances, mak­ing decisions[and]operating com­plex tech­nolo­gies. These are folks who can per­form. But unfor­tu­nate­ly, what we’re see­ing is a lot of these young vet­er­ans have a high­er unem­ploy­ment rate than peo­ple who didn’t serve. And that makes no sense.”

The pres­i­dent said one idea under dis­cus­sion is to com­bine a tax cred­it for com­pa­nies that hire vet­er­ans with a cam­paign to get pri­vate com­pa­nies to “do the right thing” and hire addi­tion­al vet­er­ans.

An out­reach pro­gram to hire vet­er­ans already exists in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, the pres­i­dent not­ed.

“We’ve [put] huge empha­sis on ramp­ing up our out­reach to vet­er­ans and hir­ing vet­er­ans,” Oba­ma said, “and this has been a top pri­or­i­ty of mine.

“The notion that these guys who are sac­ri­fic­ing for our free­dom and our secu­ri­ty end up com­ing home and not being able to find a job, I think, is unac­cept­able,” he added.

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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