Wednesday, January 25, 2012

If the President really wants jobs, why does he stand in the job creators' way?

A global organization recently conducted a survey of over 1,200 CEOs from 60 different countries, in which the top three concerns most often cited by US-based CEOs surrounded economic uncertainty, deficit and debt burdens, and over-regulation. In last night's State of the Union address, about the only thing President Obama succeeded in doing was exacerbating, rather than alleviating, these concerns.

Throughout his speech he made clear his desire to increase spending and raise taxes on just about everything, from savings, to investments, and on those who provide jobs. For starters, his proposed "insourcing" program - which at first blush sounds like a great way to bring jobs home to America -- would actually only succeed in making it harder for American companies to compete in the global market, which in turn would impact jobs here. 

The program would require that US companies pay tax on the income they earn in foreign markets as they earn it, rather than being taxed on the income they bring back to the US. His thinking is that this will discourage US businesses from doing business overseas, and therefore, keep jobs here. Yet all it really does is punish US companies for trying to compete globally, which could hamper their strategies for succeeding here as well. Why would any American president support policies that make it difficult for American businesses to succeed anywhere?

President Obama acknowledged that US businesses already have the highest tax rate in the world. But rather than embrace meaningful tax reform that would make American companies more competitive here and on the global playing field, the President opts to place additional tax burdens on them. Clearly he doesn't understand that taking more money from private companies will not spur them to hire more people.

Meanwhile, Obama picks and chooses which industries or employees he feels deserve support. He gives subsidies to the green industry and bribes companies to hire veterans, which may sound compassionate, but what about letting the free market decide which products and services are most in demand, and which people are the best suited for a job? In the President's approach, any jobs created by his hands-on manipulations are basically government-funded and, therefore, only tenuously sustainable.

But as for jobs created in the private sector by free market pursuits, when Boeing announced plans to invest $1 billion in a new plant in South Carolina (which would've created many much-needed jobs), Obama allowed his friends at the National Labor Relations Board to squash the private company's plans because the new plant would've allowed non-union employees. Obama then rejected the Keystone Pipeline project, an undertaking that would also have provided thousands of real American jobs. 

As for another major challenge facing US businesses, nothing in the President's speech last night indicated plans to dial down the untenable regulations placed on so many private sector industries, such as the almost impossible Dodd-Frank regulations, the monstrous Obamacare, and the many job-stifling rules handed out by the Environmental Protection Agency without any oversight whatsoever.

The President's approach to jobs and tax reform is clear: it's not about jobs or reform. Instead, his plans are to continue taking more from private companies so he can give more to his chosen pet projects. During his 2008 campaign, the President was clear on his desire to "redistribute" wealth - and since he's been president, the "despised" wealthy have lost 40% of their wealth.  Unfortunately, what he doesn't understand - or seem to care about - is that when governments try to redistribute wealth, nobody gets richer, but everyone gets poorer. 
Judging by last night's speech, Obama has no plans to scale back his prosperity-crushing agenda. It was riddled with references to making the "wealthy" pay their fair share, as if the successful are evil people who deserve punishment, and despite the fact that the top earners pay the most in tax dollars, while the bottom 49% pay zero in federal income taxes.

The President's passion clearly lies not in improving America, but in fanning the flames of class warfare. He's doing a good job so far, too, judging by the Occupy Wall Street protest movement he encouraged across America. While our Commander in Chief pits class against class, he forgets that the people he's so fond of castigating are the ones who provide the jobs he feigns such interest in creating. 

How much more does the President think he can put on the shoulders of those creating the jobs before these companies are put out of business? Who'll pay for the President's chosen pet projects then?

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