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Biden: Compromise can't mean doing nothing

Vice President Joe Biden said he believes the president's new jobs proposal will gain bipartisan support ton Congress, and said it would be "unconscionable" if more isn't done to help returning veterans find work.

Several Republican leaders have expressed a willingness to compose on aspects of the American Jobs Act proposed by President Obama last night.

But with the debt ceiling fight still a recent memory, Biden warned that the White House is not willing to do nothing.

"We are willing to compromise on any ideas that will help the middle class," Boden told anchor Erica Hill on CBS' "The Early Show" this morning. "If [Republicans] have a better idea how to put more money in the pockets of middle class people who are hanging on by a thread; if they're willing to come up with a better idea how to keep people - let them refinance their mortgages to 4 percent and the average person would save $2,000 a year; if they have a better idea on how to go and make sure that employers get a boost for hiring people; if they're willing to go out there and tell us how they can help the unemployed while training them in jobs that they may be able to get later after their unemployment runs out - if they have better ideas, then we are totally prepared to compromise.

"But we are not prepared to compromise in terms of doing nothing."

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"People are hurting," Biden said. "People are going to go to bed tonight, Erica, in their bedrooms, staring at the ceiling, and they're going to literally wonder whether they're going to be able to be there next month, because their house is under water. They're wondering whether or not the stagnant wages they have, they're going to have to pick up the phone and call their daughter at the state university and say, 'Honey, you can't go back next semester.' ... [Their] unemployment has run out, and there is no prospect. They have been unemployed for nine months. People are in desperate shape.

"We are not willing to compromise on not helping them."

When asked which points of the president proposal should easily gain the support of Republicans, Biden said, "Well, I think the first point to gain bipartisan support is tax cuts for people who get a payroll stub. That is, they would get an extra $1,500 - right now, you pay 6.2 percent out of every paycheck, that gets taken out before you're paid. That would go down to 3.1 percent, the result of that for the average person out there working is an additional $1,500 a year. That's a difference between being able to pay your auto insurance, being able to do a lot of things that really matter to people hanging on the edge.

"Number two, we ought to be able to work on giving employers a same cut, cutting their payroll tax in half for every new employee they hire, and if they hire a veteran, they get up to $9,000 - $9,000 incentive. The last thing we need is to send these kids, like my son and others, to Iraq and Afghanistan for a year and have them come back and have no job. It's just unconscionable. And so there is an overwhelming incentive to do that.

"And there is also an overwhelming incentive for us to be able to go out there and put people back in the classrooms, put teachers in classrooms, put cops back on the street, and put firefighters on the street. Here we are talking about 9/11, an incredible threat. You know who we're calling on? We're calling on local law enforcement, local firefighters, local first responders, and they have been decimated across the country because of local budgets. So there's a whole lot of things we should be able to do.

"There's no reason why any aspect of this proposal should not be passed," Biden said. "And, it is paid for."