Tag: NPR

Dow’s Andrew Liveris: Manufacturing Is Vital To U.S. Economy

One of the best interviews on manufacturing we’ve ever heard was on NPR Tuesday, when Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep spoke with Andrew Liveris, CEO of Dow Chemical Co. Liveris discussed the primary themes in his new book, Make it In America: The Case for Reinventing the Economy, and touched on many of the priorities facing manufacturing in the United States — trade, taxes, innovation, energy.

From the interview (sound, transcript):

INSKEEP: OK. What are some lines there where the United States apparently doesn’t do very well, since you have moved some operations overseas?

Mr. LIVERIS: Well, I not only have high taxes, I have uncertain taxes. Right now, I have more regulations coming at me that are not fact-based, not science-based, not data-based. I actually don’t even know what my costs are going to be in the next five years. And so I’m sitting back waiting for regulatory reform, and the government, of course, is now engaged on that – health care and the uncertainty around the health-care bill, and what’s going to end up happening there. Energy policy – we’ve got lots of uncertainty in the energy policy regimen. I mean, I can keep going, but that’s half a dozen.

INSKEEP: Well, you keep using the word uncertainty. It sounds like you almost don’t care what the rules are as long as you know what they are and what they’re going to be five years from now.

Mr. LIVERIS: The choice – bad policy versus uncertain policy – is a tough choice. I don’t think we have to go there. (continue reading…)

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Correcting the President’s Terminology on Taxes

In his interview this morning on NPR, President Obama continued the populist talking points that gain no more persuasive power just because he repeats them. Excerpt:

The issue here is not whether I think that the tax cuts for the wealthy are a good or smart thing to do. I’ve said repeatedly that I think they’re not a smart thing to do, particularly because we’ve got to borrow money, essentially, to pay for them.

Let’s edit those comments for accuracy.*

The issue here is not whether I think that the tax cuts extensions of  the current tax rates for the wealthy for small business are a good or smart thing to do. I’ve said repeatedly that I think they’re not a smart thing to do, particularly because we’ve got to borrow money, essentially, to pay for them.

Later in the interview the President outlines his plan of talking about the tax system in  2011:

What I’m saying is, is that the general concept of simplifying [the tax code] — eliminating loopholes, eliminating deductions, eliminating exemptions in certain categories — might make sense if, in exchange, people’s rates are lower. That may end up being a more efficient way of doing business.

But that would mean tax cuts for the wealthy, wouldn’t it?

* For a discussion of the impact of the 2001 and 2003 tax rates on small business, see the Wall Street Journal op-ed by John Engler, president of the National Association of Manufacturers, and Jerry Howard of the National Association of Home Builders, “Tax Hikes and the Small Business Job Machine.”

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An Almost Atmospheric Void

Sometimes the biggest story is what’s not reported.

Listening this morning to WAMU radio, the local NPR affiliate, we heard a brief report on the World Economic Forum in Davos from “Marketplace Morning Report,” reprising the longer story from Tuesday. Movers and shakers gather, economy a major concern.

Then the lead story in the second hour of “Morning Edition,” the NPR news magazine, touting results of its new poll, “NPR Poll Shows Vulnerability Of Obama, Democrats“:

Wednesday night’s State of the Union speech is an opportunity for President Obama to reconnect to voters who are frustrated about the state of the economy and the progress he’s been making toward fulfilling his campaign promises.

The president has said he’ll talk about economic growth — the top priority for voters, according to a new survey conducted by Republican Glen Bolger and Democrat Stan Greenberg. The poll of 800 likely voters also finds that opinion has soured on Obama’s No. 1 legislative priority this year: an overhaul of the country’s health care system.

Topics were health care, the economy, jobs, and President Obama’s tax on banks, all in a political context.

What happened to climate change? You know, global warming?

Just a month ago, President Obama delivered a call to action in Copenhagen. “The time for talk is over,” he declared.

Apparently so.

From the NPR report, the “Top Issues” pie chart, illustrating responses to the question, “Which ONE of the following issues do you think the president and Congress should be paying most attention to? Is it ...”

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