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Will Obama Finally Come Around To The Business Roundtable’s Advice?

RNC Communications - March 6, 2012

NOW: “President Obama Will Meet With Members Of The Business Roundtable On Tuesday To Discuss Job-Creation Initiatives.” (Vicki Needham, Bernie Becker, and Erik Wasson, “OVERNIGHT MONEY: Transportation Bill Tries To Get A Restart,” The Hill’s “On The Money,” 3/5/12)

THEN: Chairman Of The Business Roundtable Said Obama Is Creating An “Increasingly Hostile Environment For Investment And Job Creation.” “The chairman of the Business Roundtable, an association of top corporate executives that has been President Obama's closest ally in the business community, accused the president and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday of creating an ‘increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation.’”  (Lori Montgomery, “Business Leaders Say Obama's Economic Policies Stifle Growth,” The Washington Post, 6/23/10)

  • Ivan Seidenberg, CEO Verizon Communications And Business Roundtable Chair, Identified A “Disconnect” Between Washington And The Business Community. “Ivan Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications, in a speech last month said there was a ‘disconnect’ between Washington and the business community that is harming job growth. ‘In our judgment, we have reached a point where the negative effects of the proposed policies are simply too significant to ignore,’ said Seidenberg, who is chairman of the Business Roundtable.” (Caren Bohanand Steve Holland, “Businesses Step Up Criticism Of Obama’s Agenda,”Reuters, 7/11/10)

If Obama Was Interested In Job-Creation Initiatives, He Should’ve Taken The Business Roundtable’s Advice When They Warned That WH Policies Were Damaging Economic Growth

After Being Asked To Provide The Administration With Examples Of How They Were Slowing Growth, The Business Roundtable Sent A 54-Page Letter, Noting “Obviously, The List Is Long.” “As a follow-up to your request to both Business Roundtable and The Business Council for examples of pending legislation and regulations that have a dampening effect on economic growth and job creation, we surveyed our membership to get their views. Attaches are an Executive Summary and detailed description of what they see as government initiatives that will cause slower rather than faster growth. Obviously, the list is long …” (Ivan Seidenberg and James Owens, Letter to Director of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, 6/21/10)

Ivan Seidenberg and James Owens, CEO Caterpillar Inc., Told Peter Orszag In A Letter That They Were Concerned About The Administration’s Inability To Partner With Businesses. “As business leaders we are increasingly concerned that the political expediencies of the short‐term harm our ability to partner with government to create policies that foster growth. Now more than ever we need to work as businesses and as government to make the United States a place where we can attract the investment that is needed if we are to remain the strongest economy in the world." (Ivan Seidenberg and James Owens, Letter to Director of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, 6/21/10)

  • “Ivan G. Seidenberg, Chief Executive Of Verizon Communications, Said That Democrats In Washington Are Pursuing Tax Increases, Policy Changes And Regulatory Actions That Together Threaten To Dampen Economic Growth And ‘Harm Our Ability … To Grow Private-Sector Jobs In The U.S.’” (Lori Montgomery, “Business Leaders Say Obama's Economic Policies Stifle Growth,” The Washington Post, 6/23/10)

The Business Roundtable Recognized That Keystone Would Lead To Immediate Job Creation

The Business Roundtable Called The Decision To Delay The Keystone Pipeline A “Deferral Of Thousands Of Jobs And Improved U.S. Energy Security.” “However, on January 18 the State Department, which has the authority to approve the permit for U.S. construction to begin, walked away from the Keystone XL pipeline project, a move that amounts to the deferral of thousands of jobs and improved U.S. energy security.” (“Energy And Environment Committee: Keystone XL,” Business Roundtable, Accessed 3/5/12)

  • Business Roundtable: “The Decision To Approve This Project … Should Have Been An Easy One For The Administration To Make.” “After an exhaustive three-year review, numerous public meetings and multiple comment periods, the Department of State’s final Federal Environmental Impact Statement found that there are no substantial environmental concerns that should prohibit approval of the permit to allow this project to move forward. The decision to approve this project, which would have had a significant positive impact on jobs, economic growth and energy security, should have been an easy one for the Administration to make.” (“Energy And Environment Committee: Keystone XL,” Business Roundtable, Accessed 3/5/12)

BECAUSE: The Keystone Pipeline Was Expected To Result In As Many As 130,000 Jobs. “Many of those 20,000 jobs on the construction of the pipeline would have been filled by skilled union members. Eventually, the completed pipeline was expected to result in as many as 130,000 jobs, many of them on the upper Texas Coast, where the heavy oil would be refined into 700,000 barrels of oil daily.” (Editorial, “Keystone Pipeline Delay Is The Wrong Call,” Houston Chronicle, 11/11/11)

They Opposed Obama’s Corporate Tax And Global Minimum Tax Plans

Business Roundtable: Obama’s Corporate Tax “Framework Would Still Leave The U.S. Combined Corporate Rate 8 Percentage Points Higher Than The Average Of Countries In The Organization For Economic Cooperation And Development.”  “Despite the President’s proposal to cut corporate rates to 28 percent, the framework would still leave the U.S. combined corporate rate 8 percentage points higher than the average of countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The result would keep the United States at a significant disadvantage with its major competitors, Engler said.” (Press Release, “BRT: It’s Official: President Embraces Lower Corporate Tax Rate But Revenue Neutrality, Competitive Territorial System Missing,” Business Roundtable, 2/22/12)

  • Business Roundtable On Obama’s Global Minimum Tax: “No Other Developed Country Imposes Such A ‘Minimum Tax’ On The Foreign Earnings Of Their Corporations.” “The framework described by U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner today outlines a series of significant tax increases on companies with worldwide operations – most notably a minimum tax on foreign income.  No other developed country imposes such a ‘minimum tax’ on the foreign earnings of their corporations.” (Press Release, “BRT: It’s Official: President Embraces Lower Corporate Tax Rate But Revenue Neutrality, Competitive Territorial System Missing,”Business Roundtable, 2/22/12)

BECAUSE:  Obama’s Corporate Tax Plan Won’t Help Small Businesses And “Leave Many Business Owners With Higher Tax Bills.”  “Last week, President Barack Obama released a proposal to lower the federal corporate tax rate — a move that on its face would seem to be good news for small businesses. But the president’s pitch isn’t getting rave reviews. Advocates for small business say the plan would benefit a relatively low number of small companies and leave many business owners with higher tax bills.” (“Small Business Community Says Obama Corporate Tax Plan Will Only Benefit A Few,” The Associated Press, 3/1/12)

And Decried Obama’s Regulations As Harmful To Recovery

Business Roundtable: “Virtually Every New Regulation Has An Impact On Recovery, Competitiveness And Job Creation. Often That Impact Is Negative.” “‘We believe the cumulative effect of these proposals will help defeat the objectives we all share -- reducing unemployment, improving the competitiveness of U.S. companies, and creating an environment that fosters long-term economic growth,’ wrote Ivan Seidenberg, the CEO of Verizon and the Chairman of the Business Roundtable, and James Owens, the CEO of Caterpillar and the Chairman of the Business Council. ‘Virtually every new regulation has an impact on recovery, competitiveness and job creation. Often that impact is negative,’ they wrote.” (Robert Hendin, “White House And Business Leaders: A Rocky Relationship,” CBS News, 7/13/10)

BECAUSE: “The Evidence Is Overwhelming That The Obama Regulatory Surge Is One Reason The Current Economic Recovery Has Been So Lackluster By Historical Standards.” “The evidence is overwhelming that the Obama regulatory surge is one reason the current economic recovery has been so lackluster by historical standards. Rather than nurture an economy trying to rebuild confidence after a financial heart attack, the Administration pushed through its now-famous blitz of liberal policies on health care, financial services, energy, housing, education and student loans, telecom, labor relations, transportation and probably some other industries we've forgotten.” (Editorial, “Regulation For Dummies,” The Wall Street Journal, 12/14/11)

They Warned Obama That The National Debt Was Unsustainable

The Business Roundtable Cautioned Obama To “Reduce Spending To Manage Down Deficits And Debt.” “At the same time, the government must reduce spending to manage down deficits and debt. The current levels of U.S. debt, as well as those required to finance the forecast deficits, will crowd our private capital. If less capital is available for corporate borrowers, it will retard future growth and investment, erode the value of the U.S. dollar, accelerate inflation and, eventually, reduce consumer spending power.” (Ivan Seidenberg and James Owens, Letter to Director of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, 6/21/10)

BECAUSE: As CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf Said, Growing Debt Increases Risk Of “Sudden Fiscal Crisis.” “Growing debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis, during which investors would lose confidence in the government’s ability to manage its budget and the government would thereby lose its ability to borrow at affordable rates.” (Douglas Elmendorf, “CBO’s 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook,” Congressional Budget Office “Director’s Blog”, 6/22/11)

  • Obama Recognized That If We Failed To Control Our Debt It Could Lead To A Double-Dip Recession. OBAMA: “It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession.” (Fox News, “Interview With Major Garrett,” 11/18/09)

And Recognized That HAMP Was A “Dismal Failure”

The Business Roundtable Called HAMP A “Dismal Failure.” “The HAMP program has been and will continue to be a dismal failure. There are reasons for the failure that cannot be mitigated and the continuation of the program cannot be financially or economically justified.” (Ivan Seidenberg and James Owens, Letter to Director of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, 6/21/10)

BECAUSE: HAMP “Ran Into Problems Almost Immediately,” And “Has Helped A Scant 910,000 Homeowners -- A Far Cry From The Promised 4 Million.” “Obama took office in 2009, promising swift action to address the mortgage crisis. He quickly unveiled his signature foreclosure prevention program, known as HAMP, and his refinance program, known as HARP. But the HAMP program, which was designed to lower troubled borrowers' mortgage rates to no more than 31% of their monthly income, ran into problems almost immediately. Many lenders lost documents, and many borrowers didn't qualify. Three years later, it has helped a scant 910,000 homeowners -- a far cry from the promised 4 million.” (Tami Luhby, “Has Obama’s Housing Policy Failed,” CNN Money, 1/18/12)


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