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WASHINGTON – PresidentBarack Obama on Thursday signed into law a package of tax breaks and spending designed to give the nation a jobs boost by encouraging the private sector to start hiring again.
It's the first of several such measures Democrats have promised this election year to address the public's top worry: jobs. The measure includes about $18 billion in tax breaks and pumps $20 billion into highway and transit programs.
Under the new law, businesses that hire anyone unemployed for at least 60 days would be exempt from paying the 6.2 percent Social Securitypayroll tax through December. Employers also would get an additional $1,000 credit if new workers remain on the job a full year. Taxpayers will have to reimburse Social Security for the lost revenue.
The new law also extends a tax break for small businesses buying new equipment and modestly expands an initiative that helps state and local government pay for transportation and infrastructure projects.