Obama tells business to share the wealth

February 8, 2011

A few thoughts on President Obama’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 doesn’t see the OECD average of 25 percent as a floor. Canada’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 “preliminary plan” for reviewing regulations sometime in the future, with the goal of making their regulatory program either less burdensome or “more effective.” And despite promises of transparency elsewhere in the order, the results of any regulatory reviews conducted are required to be released online only “whenever possible.”

3. Not surprising that the execs in attendance clapped when Obama talked about “investing” in America. That partly means transferring taxpayer money to Big Business.  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 book 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 business–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.”

3 comments

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“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.”

I really do enjoy reading your opinion, but this sentence
got to me.

In an accountant’s office, they telephone the company top brass with the profit-before-bonuses and have a meeting about how much of the profit should be shouldered by the individual in order to maximize the least amount of tax overall.
The accountant is talking about cutting up the pie
between only a handful of people…not everybody in the organization. The majority of people working in the entity are short-changed big-time— the majority of the labor force in this country is short-changed big-time.
All the Joe Laborers get a tiny sum to exist on, and a slim, slim percentage of the workforce gluts flush with plenty.
If this keeps up, “Hello Egypt!” for the US. Obama is looking toward this day and warning these hogs that maybe their greed should be tempered.

Posted by limapie | Report as abusive

Ok… Let’s share the wealth then. But along with that comes the BURDENS. Let’s share the losses as well. If the company doesn’t succeed and make a profit, let’s make the workers PAY to cover some of the losses. Let’s also have them share in the countless, back-breaking, unpaid labor hours that went into BUILDING the business.

All of the entitlement people make me laugh. They want all the rewards of having a business but none of the risk or sacrifice that it takes to really make it happen. If you don’t like what you’re getting paid in your current job, find another one. It’s really that simple. If you can’t find a job where you can make more, take a look at educational opportunities and broaden your horizons. There’s no such thing as free money. It has to be earned by someone.

Posted by LibertarianinMA | Report as abusive

If it wasn’t apparent before the 08 elections, it should be painfully clear now that Pres. Obama views business as something that should be tolerated and controlled. He does not believe ENOUGH in the free-market system to let it work. Our economy has been resilient in the past, but Mr. Obama has created incredible uncertainty among businesspeople. He PERSONALLY is probably the number-one factor holding back business investment and hiring. Businesspeople are “people” and they rely not just on financial analyses and market studies to make decisions. They also use their intuition. Intuitively I do not have confidence in Mr. Obama that he will do right by business and he never really does anything to change that feeling. Above all, he is a master (or at least he THINKS he’s a master) at careful selection of words so that an inattentive listener will believe he is making concessions or changing his tune. In reality, he’s the same semi-socialist whom some of you elected. In that (and other) regards, I greatly prefer Mr. Bush.

Posted by mheld45 | Report as abusive

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