Obama tells business to share the wealth
A few thoughts on President Obamaâ€™s speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
1. Would it be too much trouble for him to be more specific about how deeply he wants to cut corporate tax rates? I hope he doesnâ€™t see the OECD average of 25 percent as a floor. Canadaâ€™s rate will be dropped to just 15 percent next year. And if he really wants more of company profits to be “shared” with workers, then he ought to propose abolishing corporate taxes altogether since 70 percent of the tax burden is passed along to workers.
2. Would it be too much trouble for him to be a bit more specific about what regulations he wants to cut? The Heritage Foundation has 20 great ones for his consideration. The think tank also has this helpful piece of advice:
Rather than require agencies to identify harmful regulations during the next 120 days, or even to eliminate unwarranted rules, the order [on reviewing federal regulations] merely requires agencies to submit a â€śpreliminary planâ€ť for reviewing regulations sometime in the future, with the goal of making their regulatory program either less burdensome or â€śmore effective.â€ť And despite promises of transparency elsewhere in the order, the results of any regulatory reviews conducted are required to be released online only â€śwhenever possible.â€ť
3. Not surprising that the execs in attendance clapped when Obama talked about â€śinvestingâ€ť in America. That partly means transferring taxpayer money to Big Business. Â And that stuff about a new social contract between government and business? Time for a Milton Friedman break:
But the doctrine of “social responsibility” taken seriously would extend the scope of the political mechanism to every human activity. It does not differ in philosophy from the most explicitly collectivist doctrine. It differs only by professing to believe that collectivist ends can be attained without collectivist means. That is why, in my bookÂ Capitalism and Freedom, I have called it a “fundamentally subversive doctrine” in a free society, and have said that in such a society, “there is one and only one social responsibility of businessâ€“to use it resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.”