Wary, Cautious, Even Skeptical — Manufacturing

A roundup of business reaction to the President’s latest proposals:

Bloomberg TV, “NAM’s Timmons Interview on Obama Tax Policy,” an interview with Jay Timmons, executive vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers:

Margaret Brennan, Bloomberg: In reading these specific proposals, it sounds like the President is nodding toward or taking a page from something that you’ve been asking for a while, and a number of Republicans have here:

Timmons: It actually is a page right from our Manufacturing Strategy and our playbook, and what we think needs to occur to improve our economy and create jobs. The problem is, the tax incentives that the President is talking about – two very, very good incentives – it sounds like those are going to be coupled with tax increases in other areas, which could harmful to business, the economy and jobs. And you can’t fix one problem by creating two others.

Brennan: So what are you talking about there? You’re not talking about the individual tax rate on those making more than $250,000 a year.

Timmons: Well, actually, that is one of the issues. You know, 70 percent of manufacturers – this is a fact that most people don’t know – 70 percent of manufacturers file as individuals or S corporations. Higher taxes on manufacturing will harm their ability to make investments, buy new plants and equipment, even if the other tax incentive that the President is talking about exists. And that hurts jobs, and of course, job creation.

Dow-Jones, “Businesses Wary Of Obama Proposal To Expand R&D Tax Credit“:

The R&D tax credit expired at the beginning at this year, and a proposal to extend it for 2010 have run into a Senate logjam.

“It’s good that the president called for a strengthened credit, but the most important message is that there be no gap in the R&D credit for this year,” said Monica McGuire, a senior director at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Forbes, Brian Wingfield, “Obama, Boehner Show Little Will To Reduce The Deficit“:

What about the president’s other ideas? Wednesday, he also argued for allowing businesses to write-off all of their equipment expenses in 2011 rather than deducting the expenses over time. In addition, he’d make permanent the research and development credit. Business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers would normally jump at the idea. But a senior administration official says the R&D credit would be paid for by closing tax “loopholes” on multinational companies–not something business groups are likely to endorse.

Human Events, John Gizzi, “Business Leaders Denounce Obama’s Tax Increase“:

Jay Timmons, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, agreed. Referring to the selected tax credits supported by the President, Timmons told HUMAN EVENTS, “At face value, a 100% tax credit for plants and equipment and an expanded tax credit are extremely good for business and the economy and jobs.”

However, he quickly added, “unfortunately, the most effective economic growth tool is an extension of the ’01 and ’03 tax cuts, which the President refuses to do in total. Additionally, it is likely there will be a tax increase included which will raise energy prices and other taxes on business.”

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