Why is Obama’s “jobs council” AWOL?
Did you know Barack Obama has a “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness?” You might well have forgotten, because they haven’t met with the President in six months. White House spokesman Jay Carney says it’s because Obama “has obviously got a lot on his plate,” by which he presumably means political fundraisers.
Remember when Obama loudly and repeatedly declared that jobs were his “number one priority?” Yeah, he was just playing with you. He’s “obviously” got a lot of other stuff on his plate that’s much more important. He always has.
One possible reason for the Council’s curious lack of participation in President Obama’s seventeenth “pivot to job creation” – which, I suppose, formally ended when Senate Democrats announced their willingness to let Taxmageddon push us all the way back into a recession – is that the Obama Council on Jobs and Competitiveness agrees with Mitt Romney.
Specifically, as Jim Pethokoukis notes at the American Enterprise Institute blog, the President’s jobs council endorses reducing America’s corporate tax rate – currently the highest in the world – and moving to a “territorial” tax system, which would exempt income earned by American companies overseas from those crushing U.S. taxes when they are brought home.
The current system of hitting worldwide profits for American companies with our confiscatory taxes sounds good to ignorant class warriors, but since most developed nations don’t do it that way, the net effect encourages American companies to keep offshore income safely outside U.S. borders, instead of investing it here. Pethokoukis estimates $1.5 trillion in U.S. corporate earnings is currently “locked out” of the United States, and could produce up to 3 million jobs over the next two years, if we moved to a territorial tax system.
Both of these ideas are key features of the Romney economic platform, which also proposes strengthening credits for research and development, and repealing the corporate Alternative Minimum Tax – a trap for corporations that seek to employ too many of the deductions explicitly offered to them by our massively complicated tax code.
Unfortunately, the current President hates growth-oriented tax reform proposals, and will fight tax reduction to the death, so he really doesn’t have any further need of his own “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.”