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What You Missed: Live Chat with Jason Furman on and 7&4 News

Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, answers questions from people around the country during a live chat on jobs and the economy.

This week, Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, answered questions from 7&4 News and readers on jobs and the economy. Look at some of the highlights below or see the full chat over at And learn more about how the American Jobs Act will increase jobs and improve the economy at

Jason Furman Answers Questions on

Jason Furman, Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, during a live chat with readers of and 7&4 News on jobs and the economy.

Q: Eric Kane:
As the economic powers shift from West to East, how can Americans prepare?

A: Jason Furman, The White House:
Eric, that is probably the most important question facing our economy. America is still the #1 economic power in the world, with the best educated and trained workers, the best capital stock, and the best knowledge and technology. But we won't maintain this by staying on autopilot. One lesson is that we can't cut our way to prosperity and have to continue the research, education and infrastructure investments that have made us the #1 power in the world. We also have to tackle our challenges, like inequality and the budget deficit.

Q: Tammy-Traverse City:
Did you expect the economy to bouce back quicker than it has this year?

A: Jason Furman, The White House:
We've certainly faced some setbacks this year, from the earthquake in Japan which affected global supply chains to the events in the Middle East which raised oil prices to the continued turmoil in Europe. Even facing all these obstacles, the economy has continued to create jobs and grow -- but not nearly fast enough. That's why we need to do more, including extend and expand payroll tax cuts, extend UI, and pass the rest of the American Jobs Act.

Q: Nancy
Is there anything that can be done to reduce gas prices? On low paying jobs the cost to fill the tank just to get back and forth to work is really hurting alot of people financially.

A: Jason Furman, The White House:
Nancy, the President has taken the steps he can on gas prices, including releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve earlier this year. But many of these increases are driven by world events and are not something that the President or anyone else controls. Part of what we can do is help cushion the blow by cutting taxes for American families. The President's proposal to put another $1,500 in the pockets of working families next year would do a lot to help families like yours in the unfortunate event that gas prices stay high.

Q: Gary
We have a small cafe and grill and just are making it the tax's are so high, we are a small business , what are we to do, because we are so small we can not get help from the SBA?

Jason Furman, The White House: 
Gary, I obviously don't know your particular circumstances. SBA loan guarantees are designed for businesses like yours to help you get the credit you need from banks. Over the last few years the President has taken critical steps like expanding those guarantees, reducing fees, and increasing loan sizes. But I know that credit is still very tough for a lot of small businesses and we're looking to do more.

Also, small businesses like yours are a motivation for why the President is pushing to cut employer payroll taxes in half on your first $5 million of payroll. That would mean up to $155,000 for a business like yours--which you know better than me could help you make needed investment, meet payroll, hire a new worker, and be better cushioned for a rainy day in the future.

Continue reading the full chat at