Here's the start of Reich's latest blog posting:
Why Obama Is Proposing Whopping Corporate Tax Cuts, and Why He's WrongGo read the rest of the posting to find out why this is a purely cynical political ploy by Obama.
President Obama reportedly will propose two big corporate tax cuts this week.
One would expand and make permanent the research and experimentation tax credit, at a cost of about $100 billion over the next ten years. The other would allow companies to write off 100 percent of their new investments in plant and equipment between now and the end of 2011 at a cost next year of substantially more than $100 billion (but a ten-year cost of about $30 billion since those write-offs wouldn’t be taken over the longer-term).
The economy needs two whopping corporate tax cuts right now as much as someone with a serious heart condition needs Botox.
The reason businesses aren’t investing in new plant and equipment has nothing to do with the cost of capital. It’s because they don’t need the additional capacity. There isn’t enough demand for their goods and services to justify it. Consumers aren’t buying because they’re trying to come out from under a huge debt load, including mortgage debt; they have to start saving because their nest eggs are worth substantially less; and they’ve lost or are worried about losing jobs and pay.
In any event, small businesses don’t have enough profits against which to use these tax credits and deductions, and large corporations are sitting on over a trillion dollars of profits and don’t need them.
Republicans and corporate lobbyists have been demanding tax cuts on corporate investments for one reason: Big corporations are investing in automated equipment, robotics, numerically-controlled machine tools, and software. These investments are designed to boost profits by permanently replacing workers and cutting payrolls. The tax breaks Obama is proposing would make such investments all the more profitable.
In sum, Obama’s proposed corporate tax cuts (1) won’t generate more jobs because they don’t put any cash in worker’s pockets (as would, for example, exempting the first $20,000 of income from the payroll tax and making up the difference by applying the payroll tax to incomes over $250,000); (2) will subsidize companies to cut even more jobs; and (3) will cost $130 billion — money that could better be spent helping states and locales avoid laying off thousands of teachers, fire fighters, and police.
Obama falls short of being a "people's tribune". He's shown himself indifferent to the suffering of the economic downturn. Instead, he is too busy playing politics and playing lapdog to the big money interests lobbying. The Democrats may not be as deeply in bed with big corporations as the Republicans, but it is a matter of degree only. Both have sold their soul to the interests of big money.
Instead of political games, Americans need a leader who has a positive agenda and who stands up to the obstructionist Republicans. Obama hasn't shown this to date and it is very, very late for him to "get religion".