Obama’s pro-business gambit, and why it will likely fail

Tomorrow, we’re told, President Obama will propose an economic incentive package indented to help turn the American economy around. From what little I’ve been able to find in the press, it’s sounds like just the kind of thing that the American economy needs. It would not only provide generous tax incentives to companies pursuing research and development initiatives, but it would invest in the kind of long-term, job-creating infrastructure projects that the nation so desperately needs. Here, with more, is clip from today’s New York Times:

…As part of his emerging program to jolt the economic recovery from its stall, President Obama will call this week for allowing businesses to deduct from their taxes through 2011 the full value of new equipment purchase, from computers to utility generators, to increase demand for goods and create jobs….

The stimulus initiative will also include proposals for an additional $50 billion for infrastructure investments and a new infrastructure bank for projects over the long term, which Mr. Obama described at a Labor Day event in Wisconsin on Monday.

And it will have a provision to expand and make permanent a tax credit for corporations’ research and development expenses; for three decades, the credit has been enacted temporarily, given its revenue cost, and then always extended, but with frequent lapses that frustrate businesses…

I suspect that most folks would, if they allowed themselves to be objective, find this is a good thing, as it would seed R&D – the wellspring from which future economic development is likely to come – and put people to work immediately on the repair of our crumbling U.S. infrastructure, but word is that the Republicans will probably fight it for strictly political reasons… If you can stomach it, I’d suggest watching the following clip from this morning’s Morning Joe program on MSNBC. (It’s all good, but, if you can only afford a few minutes, start watching at the 5:40 mark.)

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

If the Republicans don’t go along with this, the Democrats should hammer it from now until election day. This is good policy, and it’s desperately needed. And we shouldn’t allow the Republicans to block it for purely political reasons. There’s no reason in the world that the Republicans should fight this clearly pro-business legislation, and, if they do, we should be upfront as to their cynical, self-serving reasons for doing so… Of course, Obama should have suggested these actions some time ago, but we’ll leave that for a different post. The important thing for now is that we get on board and support this legislation that will put Americans back to work.

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7 Comments

  1. Knox
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Depressing god damned bullshit is what it is. These resolutions would clearly help the country, and it amazes me that the Republicans would let them flounder just so that they can keep the Democrat’s political stock from rising. We are all fucked.

  2. Edward
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I’m sure it won’t be hard to convince the Tea Party patriots that this is part of Obama’s socialist plan to take over the nation’s infrastructure.

  3. Kim
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Obama should have really dealt with the economy when he first came into office. Going after health care first was a tactical mistake. With that said, this sounds like good policy that the nation could get behind.

  4. Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    But the TP’ers and the asshat Republicans will whine about cutting taxes, health care, SSC and Medicare and not spending our tax dollars to fix all the stuff that was delayed because they blew our wad on unnecessary wars to help their Carlyle and Blackwater buddies.

  5. Meta
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    More good news. Obama says he won’t extend Bush’s tax cuts for the super wealthy.

    President Obama on Wednesday will make clear that he opposes any compromise that would extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy beyond this year, officials said, adding a populist twist to an election-season economic package that is otherwise designed to entice support from big businesses and their Republican allies.

    Mr. Obama’s opposition to allowing the high-end tax cuts to remain in place for even another year or two would be the signal many Congressional Democrats have been awaiting as they prepare for a showdown with Republicans on the issue and ends speculation that the White House might be open to an extension. Democrats say only the president can rally wavering lawmakers who, amid the party’s weakened poll numbers, feel increasingly vulnerable to Republican attacks if they let the top rates lapse at the end of this year as scheduled.

    The rest of the article can be found here-
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/us/politics/08obama.html?_r=1

  6. Art23
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    This is nothing new. Obama has in the past proposed very Republican initiatives only to have them shot down by the Republicans in Congress. Sometimes the initiatives are ones that they themselves had written. So, no, I’m not expecting them to change now, when they think they’ve got the administration on the ropes. They expect to win big in November, and they’re not going to jeopardize that. If Obama was smart, though, he’d beat them to hell over it. He needs to be on the news every night, explaining why this is important legislation, how it would create jobs, and defining the Republicans as obstructionists who don’t care about the American middle class. It would be a huge change for him, but we need a passionate fighter right now.

  7. Meta
    Posted September 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    From Obama’s speech this afternoon:

    Look, I recognize that most of the Republicans in Congress have said no to just about every policy I’ve proposed since taking office. And on some issues, I realize it’s because there are genuine philosophical differences. But on issues like this one, the only reason they’re holding this up is politics, pure and simple. They’re making the same calculation they made just before the inauguration: if I fail, they win. Well, they might think this will get them where they need to go in November, but it won’t get our country where it needs to go in the long run.

One Trackback

  1. […] scheduled, Obama spoke about the economy in Cleveland today. While he formally unveiled the major incentives and infrastructure projects that we discussed here last night, the big news came when he announced unequivocally that he would not support the extension of the […]

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