Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Help wanted (to cast off a scarlet letter)

So where do I put this on my résumé?

You know, the acknowledgement that I've been out of a job for at least 60 days so that whoever hires me knows they can count on getting a break on payroll taxes this year.

Hey, I've got to play every card I can. After all, being unemployed is its own scarlet letter.

While the legislation, known as HIRE (Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act), hasn't been tied up neatly in a bow quite yet, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), a co-author of the tax-break provision, says it's likely to be sent soon to President Barack Obama.

HIRE would let businesses sidestep their 2010 share of Social Security taxes for every unemployed worker put on the payroll. Said Schumer, "The more a business pays a worker (up to the maximum Social Security wage of $106,800), and the longer a business has a worker on its payroll, the greater the tax benefit -- so there is an incentive to hire people sooner, and pay them more."

He and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) laid out the tax-break plan in a New York Times op-ed in January, calling it "simple, straightforward and easy to explain and administer."

HIRE passed the Senate last week -- it wasn't caught up in the Bunning blockade that held up other unemployment legislation -- and could get through the House quickly. But that body passed its own version of a jobs bill in December, so the two may need to be reconciled. (Update)

No matter. I'll start to get my résumé ready anyway. Would it seem too desperate to put 72-point block letters at the top screaming I'M A TAX BREAK, HIRE ME! ?

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