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How Can Washington Help Business Create Jobs?

Al Hunt: To improve the economy and help create more jobs, Washington needs to walk and chew gum at the same time. That means providing short-term stimulus while also shaping a long-term deficit reduction package.

Both are likely to fall victim to the part-political, part-ideological, and persistently petty environment that has enveloped Washington. Yet a comprehensive deal could work, and it could even help both political parties. We should start with a two-year, $1 trillion stimulus: some temporary tax cuts, such as extending the payroll tax holiday to spur hiring, and some smart investments in infrastructure and financial assistance to states so they can avoid laying off teachers and cops. This would be farther-reaching than what President Barack Obama proposed on Sept. 8.