THE press is wall-to-wall coverage of President Obama's jobs speech (and that includes us), so I may as well chime in with my thoughts on the matter. I don't know about the politics. Mr Obama seemed to frame his jobs plan in a savvy fashion, and there seems to be at least some openness to passage of parts of the plan among Republicans in Congress. I'm not sure he could have crafted the bill in a more passable fashion.On the merits, there is plenty of room for quibbling, and there will be quite a bit of quibbling. On the whole, there is much to like. The size seems right, though we'll have to see what kinds of offsetting cuts emerge from the super committee. If we assume that offsetting cuts are pushed beyond 2012, then the bill erases the 2%-of-GDP fiscal drag on growth currently baked into the budget cake. Over the next year, the federal government would be a small positive in the GDP figures rather than a large negative. Given the leeway bond markets are giving the American government and the dire state of the economy, not to mention the progress Washington has made trimming the medium-term spending outlook, a fiscal policy stance that is at least neutral seems like a no-brainer.Maintaining the present payroll-tax cut and unemployment insurance is similarly a no-brainer. Increased focus on the structure of benefits and the plight of the long-term unemployed is a very welcome sign. The plan would probably have been better had it devoted the money pegged for new employee-side payroll cuts to more of those sorts of policies. The public investment portion of the bill isn't likely to be as job intensive. It's still a good idea, however. America has significant infrastructure investment needs, and now—with labour and capital cheap—is a very good time to make them. Stimulus aside, the economy could use a much larger dose of infrastructure investment. With Congress divided over a long-term transportation law, the jobs plan is as good a place as any to move some spending forward.It's not a perfect plan, but nothing that emerges from Washington is. It's not going to magically generate strong growth; the Fed's upcoming meetings are more important. It is a package of sensible steps presented in a sensible way. Were Congress to fall into a momentary stupor and pass the bill as is, the American economy would clearly be better for it (though not obviously 2m jobs better). Americans should hope that most of it gets through Congress and on to the president's desk.