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July 27 2014

Obama’s “Economic Patriotism” is a “You Didn’t Build That” Redux

Vicki E. Alger

Earlier this week Obama was on CNBC preaching “economic patriotism,” which basically rehashes his “you didn’t build that” lecture to American business owners from two years ago.

Larry Kudlow writes in Townhall.com that instead of bashing business owners, the president should be helping them if he wants the economy to grow:

Obama mocks businesses. And now he's hauling out an election-year populist whine about "economic patriotism." He's attacking companies that merge with foreign businesses and reincorporate in lower-tax foreign countries. It's called inversion. And Obama wants to stop it in the name of patriotism.

In an interview with my CNBC colleague Steve Liesman, Obama talked about how businesses are ungrateful for "the range of benefits that have helped to build companies, create value (and) create profits." He complained that these firms are moving their "technical address simply to avoid paying taxes."

That sounds a bit like, "If you've got a business -- you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

The real issue isn’t tax avoidance—businesses are trying to function without the burden of double taxation. Kudlow explains that by lowering our punitive, “record-breaking” 35 percent corporate tax rate, eliminating the additional 35 percent tax on income generated abroad, American businesses, employees, and the country would all benefit. According to Kudlow, here’s what Obama should be saying:

“…to make American business number one, we're gonna drop the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent … we're gonna end crony capitalism and corporate welfare, just as I pledged in my 2008 campaign. And that includes the Export-Import bank. "

He could then say he understands from numerous studies that 70 percent of the benefits of a corporate tax cut will flow to working wage earners while the rest will flow to lower-priced consumers. …

The president sometimes gives lip service to corporate tax reform. But he never follows through. …And now it looks like corporate tax reform is dead again this year.  …It's a pity. Why isn't it patriotic to stand by large and small businesses, which are at the heart of the American free-market economy? Just this once, can't we get the story right?

The economy remains the top issue among likely voters. And hard-working Americans aren’t likely to believe that we can tax our way to prosperity. At a minimum, blaming business, instead of government policies, for a slow economy isn’t the way to garner votes.

 

 

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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