Category Archives: jobs

Continuing The Tax Debate

A few days ago I blogged about the tax reform debate our country needs.

Speaker Newt Gingrich has placed within his 21st Century Contract with America what I think is probably a better version of the flat tax program Governor Perry has proposed, and I think Speaker Gingrich’s explanation is concise and easily understood. Read it below, let me know what you think.

JOBS AND PROSPERITY PLAN: TAX SIMPLIFICATION WITH AN OPTIONAL FLAT TAX

My legislation will also include an optional flat tax of 15% or less. All tax filers would be given the option to pay their income taxes subject to current income tax provisions or to pay under a lower single rate of taxation with limited deductions. A revenue neutral flat tax reform would save hundreds of billions of dollars in compliance costs each year and would eliminate the need for taxes on savings, dividends, and capital gains.

This optional flat tax system will create a new personal deduction of $12,000 for every American. This deduction is well above the current poverty level, ensuring that this new system does not unfairly target the poor. The current $1,000 tax credit for each child aged sixteen or younger would also apply, as would the current earned income tax credit (EITC).

An optional flat tax reform will be simple: tax returns can be done on one sheet of paper. Subtract from income a standard deduction and deductions for charity and home ownership, multiply the result by the fixed single rate of taxation of at most 15%, and the process is over.

Gone will be the stressful hours spent figuring out whether your military service or marital status will adversely affect your return. No more headaches trying to determine where estimated tax payments go. Tax preparation fees could be money spent on something more rewarding.

Such an optional flat tax system would create a new standard deduction, which would be above the established poverty level, meaning an optional flat tax would not unfairly target the poor.
An optional flat tax would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. And if a person had twice as much income as another, he or she would be taxed twice as much. Furthermore, a single rate tax structure would eliminate taxes on savings, capital gains, and dividends. Saving would increase and businesses would expand to create new jobs.

This concept of an optional flat tax would give American taxpayers an opportunity to choose simplicity versus complexity and a single rate over a lot of deductions.

Because the flat tax is optional, it does not raise taxes on a single person or unfairly impact seniors, lower income workers, or the poor.

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Filed under 21st century contract with america, flat tax, jobs, newt gingrich, prosperity, tax proposals, taxes

Stimulus 2.0

This column originally appeared at US Daily Review.

As I mentioned here on US Daily Review last week in my column titled “Avoiding The “S” Word“, Stimulus II, the son of the first stimulus disaster was indeed presented Monday by the current President. The so-called American Jobs Act is more of the same. This is not surprising from a failed President, and a man who had never created a job or balanced a budget prior to or during his reign as President, unless it was with taxpayer dollars.

What the current President has done is created a plan that would take money from the people, and from the “big, bad evil” corporations, and put it toward government jobs. The current President has chosen to increase taxes on business and close so-called loopholes, rather that freeing up much needed capital so that American businesses can build bigger and hire more. I understand the President not wanting to go with the latter plan, that would not create enough votes for his re-election campaign. A plan where he creates government jobs and takes money from the business community, well that helps with his anti-capitalist base.

View this chart and see for yourself:

In Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor had this to say about the current President’s plan, “Anything that is akin to a stimulus bill is not going to be acceptable,” he said. “Over half of the total dollar amount is so called stimulus spending. We have been there, done that. The country cannot afford more spending like a stimulus bill.”

As I have suggested before, if the current President were serious about job creation, the first two things he would do to address the high unemployment rate would be to reduce job-killing regulations and cut job-killing tax rates. Instead, the current President opts for more job-killing regulations, more job-killing tax increases and more government spending.

When the current President gave his campaign speech during a joint session of congress last week, he kept repeating, “pass this bill right away”. This was an obvious attempt to show leadership from a President who has not been able to do so in any other way after 32 leaderless months in office. His bill that he wanted passed right away, is more of the same, as Majority Leader Cantor said, it is more of the same, it is more of what has already failed.

The Wall Street Journal also pointed out today, “The White House says the tax changes would take effect in 2013 and estimates they would raise $467 billion in additional revenue over 10 years.”  So if you are one of the many unemployed Americans, don’t worry, Obama’s so-called jobs plan will be put into effect in just 15 short months, be sure to go to the current President’s website and signup for emails on progress of that “plan”.

It was amazing to watch and think during the Republican presidential debate last night, that any one of the people on that stage, will do more for America and job creation as President-Elect in November and December of 2012, than the current President has actually done while in office. We just have to hope that the Hopers and Changers who find themselves unemployed this go-round will be on the side of capitalism and free markets, and not on the side of government funded, government mandated attempts at job creation.

Hopefully Stimulus II is DOA.  It is worth noting that the bill itself is not designed to gain passage. It serves two purposes: It is something the current President can say he presented to congress; and hen congress does not pass the bill as is, the current President has a campaign weapon.

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Filed under employment, eric cantor, free market, job creation, jobs, obama

Avoiding The “S” Word

This column originally appeared at US Daily Review.

I saw this piece by The Hill a few days ago. With a headline and that would have made George Orwell giddy, “Pelosi Drops The Word “Stimulus”.

The Left, clearly losing their war on jobs and their war on our nation’s economy, is trying to repackage the same failed programs and legislation that did not work before.  They are not proposing their usual jobs killing tax increases, this time they are trying to pretend they are watching out for the taxpayers and actually wanting to reduce taxes.

As I witnessed the current President’s campaign speech on Thursday night, and as I heard one platitude after another, I realized he was talking about more stimulus, this time without actually calling it stimulus.  The current President was also desperate, his speech came across to me as if he was begging or pleading.  It was a campaign speech afterall, I guess he was pleading for four more years of malaise.

The Wall Street Journal had a staff editorial on Friday, well worth reading in its entirety.  But there was one big takeaway worth staying focused on:

“Mr. Obama spoke last night as if he is a converted tax-cutter, asking Republicans to expand and extend the payroll tax cut that expires in December for one more year. Along with tax credits for certain businesses that hire new employees, he says this will cut unemployment, and no doubt it will lead to some more hiring.

But what happens in 2013 when those tax rates expire and Mr. Obama pledges to hit thousands of those same small businesses with higher tax rates on income, capital gains and dividends? He seems to think businesses operate only in the present and will ignore the tax burdens coming at them down the road. This is the same reasoning that assumed that postponing ObamaCare’s tax and regulatory burdens until 2014 would have no effect on business hiring in the meantime.”

Shovel ready jobs for infrastructure was a big feature of the current President’s campaign speech.  Does the current President not understand that infrastructure jobs is money spent by the government, and where does that money come from?  Yes, the taxpayers. So once again, taxpayers get to foot this bill for infrastructure jobs.  This is a surreal cycle to look at.  The Left thinks this is real job growth.  I know the current President knows all of this, which is why this speech was really nothing; a non-starter.  If the Left really wants to create jobs, why not just have the government hire people to clean beaches, rivers and other waterways?  The government could hire people all day long, all year long to do meaningless jobs (some are called bureaucrats), and call it employment or a “jobs plan”.

But what about jobs that last for many years? What about jobs that people turn into careers?  Yes, someone has to dig the ditches. Not all jobs in America will be glorious and lead to riches. Not everyone is looking for those jobs.

One final comment from the Wall Street Journal editorial:

“The larger political subtext of Mr. Obama’s speech is that if Congress doesn’t pass his plan, he’ll then campaign against Republicans as obstructionist. Thus his speech mantra that Congress should “pass it right away.” This ignores that Mr. Obama has been the least obstructed President since LBJ in 1965 or FDR in 1933, which is how we got here.

He passed $830 billion in stimulus, $3 billion for cash for clunkers, $30 billion in small business loans, $30 billion for mortgage modification, the GM-Chrysler bailouts, ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, credit card price controls, Build America Bonds, jobless benefits for a record 99 weeks, and more.”

It continues to interest me that after 32 months in office, the current President still doesn’t have a plan and he still has not proposed something that reaches across the aisle, yet his speeches proclaim to do both.  I would have more confidence in this temporary President if he had managed a Domino’s Pizza or a White Castle at some point in his “career”.  I would at least imagine that he had experience hiring and firing, balancing budgets and at least looking at profit and loss statements.  For a guy that hasn’t done any of this, the words on the teleprompter being read by a guy with a great education really don’t establish confidence in my mind.

Stimulus by any other name is still stimulus; stimulus which doesn’t stimulate. The Left can keep avoiding the big bad “S” word; the rest of us can keep pointing to it.  Only in America.

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Filed under economy, employment, jobs, obama, obamanomics, spending, stimulus, unemployment

Job promotion need not cost a lot

This column originally appeared in the The Columbus Dispatch.

By Thomas J. Donohue

It seems like every politician in Washington has a jobs plan these days — or is at least promising one. While the focus is welcome, Americans are right to question whether the ideas are sound and whether all the talk will translate into action. At the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, we believe the time for rhetoric has come and gone. Twenty-five million Americans are unemployed, underemployed, have given up looking for work or are brand new in the workforce and can’t find jobs. They deserve to hear detailed, common-sense ideas that will at least jump-start job creation. What they aren’t interested in are empty promises or temporary, artificial government jobs that won’t last but will add to the deficit.

There are some practical, private-sector ideas that can be quickly turned into action. We’ve put them together into a plan we’re sending to the president and every member of Congress:

• Expand trade and global commerce. Congress has the tools to open new markets and create new American jobs by passing the pending free-trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama. Doing so would save 380,000 jobs and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The administration can immediately modernize export controls, allowing U.S. businesses to expand trade to the tune of 340,000 new jobs. We must also complete a Trans-Pacific Partnership and initiate trade talks with the European Union to spur U.S. exports to global economies. Congress can take immediate steps to safeguard 19 million intellectual-property-related jobs and create new ones by passing a patent-reform bill, along with legislation to shut down rogue websites.

• Produce more American energy. Let American energy workers responsibly develop all sources of domestic energy. By opening up offshore resources, we could create almost 250,000 new jobs. Expanding access to federal lands for oil and gas exploration would add 530,000 new jobs. Development of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale, as well as other resource-rich shale reserves, could generate 116,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania alone by 2020. And approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, connecting Canadian oil fields to refineries in Texas, would support 250,000 energy jobs.

• Speed up infrastructure projects. Passing a multiyear highway bill with adequate funding would enable states and communities to plan projects, hire employees and prevent layoffs. Removing regulatory and permitting obstacles to 351 stalled energy projects would create 1.9 million jobs annually. Eliminating impediments to $250 billion in global private capital for infrastructure projects here at home could create 1.9 million jobs in 10 years.

• Welcome tourists and business visitors. The travel and tourism sector already accounts for $700 billion in revenues and 7.4 million American jobs. We can create 1.3 million more jobs by 2020 just by restoring the U.S. share of the travel market to its 2000 level. We can do so by removing the hassle factor of visiting the United States, expanding the visa waiver program, promoting America as a premier travel destination and reforming the visa application process to ensure consistent, fair and timely procedures without compromising security.

• Streamline permits and provide regulatory certainty and relief. America’s economy and job creators need relief from a staggering amount of new regulations and mandates. The president should issue an executive order prohibiting agencies from issuing discretionary regulations that would have a substantial economic impact — until the economy improves.

• Pass job-creating tax incentives. Congress should swiftly enact pro-growth tax measures that stimulate business expansion without adding to the deficit. A repatriation holiday — reducing taxes on profits earned overseas — could bring at least $1 trillion back to America, creating 2.9 million jobs over two years of implementation. Congress should also temporarily reduce the capital-gains tax rate to help companies restore their balance sheets and free up cash for investment and hiring.

Timely action could significantly ease uncertainty, get existing capital off the sidelines, spur business and consumer activity and create American jobs — without adding to the deficit.

Now that Congress and the president are back in Washington, they must get to work so the 25 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed can find work. Join us — and our network of three million businesses — in urging lawmakers to act now.

Thomas J. Donohue is the president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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Filed under chamber of commerce, economy, gongress, job creation, jobs