Press Release

Gillibrand: President’s Historic Call For Repeal Of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Begins A New Era Of Equality And Justice In America

Jan 27, 2010

Washington, D.C. – As President Obama issues a historic call to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and unveils a new way forward for hardworking middle class families in his State of the Union Address, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand issued the following statement:

“President Obama’s call to repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ marks the beginning of a new era of equality and justice in America.  The military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy is an unfair, outdated measure that violates the civil rights of some of our bravest, most heroic men and women.  We must all join together to speak up on behalf of the brave men and women who want to serve their country.


“With unemployment above 10 percent and New York families struggling to make ends meet, now is the time for the aggressive action to create middle class jobs.

“We need solutions that will target where the need is greatest – middle and working class families struggling to keep and find jobs and small businesses in need of capital investment. Bush-era ideas of trickle-down economics and corporate giveaways with no string attached will neither help small businesses or middle class New Yorkers.

“Congress must act now to provide businesses with an incentive to hire to get our economy moving again. 

“And we can’t stop there. The President has laid out a broad range of proposals that will provide middle class New Yorkers with real relief by cutting taxes to make child care affordable, raising the caregiver tax credit so families can care for their elderly loved ones, and extending the tuition tax credit so more New York students can pursue their dreams and get a college education.

“It’s time to focus on the middle class and those struggling in this economy by creating new jobs and putting more New Yorkers back to work right now.

“Finally, we must not give up and remain committed to passing the President’s health care reforms, which would provide quality care to 2.7 million New Yorkers who don’t have health insurance, cut taxes for small businesses, and lower costs for everyone else.”

According a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a tax cut for businesses that create new jobs would garner just as much economic return as spending on new infrastructure, and be more effective at creating jobs.  In fact, the Economic Policy Institute estimates that Senator Gillibrand’s legislation could care more than one million jobs in one year alone.

Specifically, Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would provide businesses a tax cut worth 15 percent of the cost of a new job.  Small businesses would receive an additional 5 percent, allowing them to deduct 20 percent of their increased payroll costs.  The tax cut would be structured based on a firm’s quarterly payroll increase over the previous year, meaning companies would also have an incentive to expand part-time workers to full-time, or eliminate salary cuts instituted during the downturn.  This would also provide protection against fraud by preventing employees from doing things like firing and re-hiring employees to claim the tax cut.  The legislation would also contain additional protections against abuse by including protections such as limiting the tax cut claimed by any one firm to $350,000, and exclusions for mergers or acquisition where no new jobs are actually created.

With the right safeguards, Senator Gillibrand’s job creation tax cut is one of the most efficient ways to create a large number of jobs quickly. It would address what is perhaps the most persistent and harmful aspect of the economic downturn: unemployment. Such a measure not only is an efficient way to create a large number of jobs quickly, but also bolster long-term economic recovery investments — from high-speed rail and health care information technology, to rural broadband and a smart energy grid.