During the State of the Union, President Obama claimed that he wants to lower corporate taxes to help businesses expand, eliminate unjust bailouts and handouts, increase domestic energy production to help Americans save money, and decrease regulations so that businesses can flourish.
Mr. President: you do realize you are not up for the GOP nomination, right?
Although it may seem that way, the President’s speech was not his way of saying that he is now the most prominent turncoat since Arlen Specter. Instead, he is hoping to appeal to nearly every American man, woman, and child (at least the ones who are not rich) in what will be the toughest campaign of his political career.
The problem is the President has a three year record which doesn’t give much credence to the claim that he died and came back a Republican.
“. . . Companies that choose to stay in America get hit with one of the highest tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and everyone knows it.” Does everyone know it? Do you know it?
It seems not, otherwise Obama, and a Democratically-controlled Congress, would have implemented tax cuts when there was no one to stop them. Instead those tax rates remain among the highest in the world, which has enticed companies to find ways to mitigate their tax burden through off-shore corporate headquarters, outsourcing, GE-style gangsta’ lobbying, or other more nefarious means.
In addition, the President is asking Congress to raise taxes on those darn rich people. Wealthy Americans are constantly being demonized for paying a low rate on their investment gains (after those investments were already taxed at top-earner rates when people like Mitt Romney earned their money working for a salary). But that low rate is intended to be an incentive for them to invest their money in businesses.
Without those investments, American small businesses, which are now created by Hispanics at a rate of 3-to-1, will not have as much capital to grow and hire. By the way, small businesses have created 65% of new jobs in recent years. Large businesses created the rest. Both use rich people’s money to grow.
“It’s time to apply the same rules from top to bottom: No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.”
Didn’t the President back the biggest bailout in U.S. history or was that just a bad dream? Spending $800 billion dollars on bailouts for financial institutions and other corporations has just been a small piece of the $5,000,000,000,000 (if we wrote it out more often maybe it would mean more) increase in our national debt since Obama took office in 2008.
With this new debt comes another debt, in the form of interest. We now spend nearly $30 billion per month on interest alone. I know the President doesn’t like handouts anymore, but we could give every impoverished person in America $770 per month if we did not have to pay our interest payments.
“This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy.”
Coal? No, too dirty. Oil shale and oil sands? Sometimes, but with extreme scrutiny. Oil? Not in the Gulf. OK, in the Gulf. No offshore. Yes offshore. Probably to Keystone Pipeline. No to Keystone Pipeline (perhaps new oil has to be carried in with buckets). Natural gas? Was no way, now yes way. Nuclear power? “Oh, hell no” has been the answer for the last 30 years, which has changed to a resounding “perhaps, but good luck” as demand has grown, but regulations and oversight still inhibit many opportunities.
“There is no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. In fact, I’ve approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.”
New regulations have the ability to significantly stall business growth. If a small business has to pay more or hire a new administrator to comply with new regulations, investments in growth and hiring are obstructed. There are 4,300 new regulations that are expected to increase the financial burdens on businesses – 845 of which will specifically affect the small businesses that account for 65% of the last decade’s hiring, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses – most of which are controlled and implemented in the Executive Branch. The President has almost complete control and oversight over most regulations.
If Obama proves that he will actually increase energy production, reduce regulations and corporate taxes, and cut unnecessary spending, he will most likely pick up a lot of Independent and even some Republican votes in 2012.
But this time he has only a few months to walk the walk and a Congress dead set on trying to trip him up at every step.
JUSTIN VELEZ-HAGAN is Senior Contributing Writer and Commentator for Politic365.com. He is also the National Executive Director of The National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and an international developer of senior living facilities. He can be reached at Justin@Politic365.com.