Monday, October 20th, 2014

Promises about Economy on The Obameter

Increase the capital gains and dividends taxes for higher-income taxpayers

Increase capital gains and dividends taxes from 15 to 20 percent for those making more than $250,000 (couples) or $200,000 (single)

Eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-ups

"Barack Obama understands that small businesses are the engines of our economy, and he will eliminate all capital gains taxes on investments in small and start-up firms."

Create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to invest in peer-reviewed manufacturing processes

"Will create an Advanced Manufacturing Fund to identify and invest in the most compelling advanced manufacturing strategies. The Fund will have a peer-review selection and award process based on the Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund, a state-level initiative that has awarded over $125 million to Michigan businesses with the most innovative proposals to create new products and new jobs in the state."

Double funding for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership, a program that encourages manufacturing efficiency

"The Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) works with manufacturers across the country to improve efficiency, implement new technology and strengthen company growth. This highly-successful program has engaged in more than 350,000 projects across the country and in 2006 alone, helped create and protect over 50,000 jobs. But despite this success, funding for MEP has been slashed by the Bush administration. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the MEP so its training centers can continue to bolster the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers."

Create a foreclosure prevention fund for homeowners

Create a $10 billion fund to help homeowners refinance or sell their homes. "The Fund will not help speculators, people who bought vacation homes or people who falsely represented their incomes."

Increase minority access to capital

"Strengthen Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms."

Require economic justification for tax changes

Adopt the economic substance doctrine, a policy that states that tax changes must have significant economic justification, as a federal law.

Make permanent the Research & Development tax credit

The Research & Development tax credit and the renewable energy production tax credit are intended to spur innovation in the private sector, but the tax credits have expiration dates under current law. Obama would make them permanent.

Establish a small business initiative for rural America

"Will support entrepreneurship and spur job growth by establishing a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America. The program will provide training and technical assistance for rural small business, and provide a 20 percent tax credit on up to $50,000 of investment in small owner-operated businesses. This initiative will put the full support of the nation's economic policies behind rural entrepreneurship."

Create a $60 billion bank to fund roads and bridges

"Will address the infrastructure challenge by creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to expand and enhance, not supplant, existing federal transportation investments. This independent entity will be directed to invest in our nation's most challenging transportation infrastructure needs. The Bank will receive an infusion of federal money, $60 billion over 10 years, to provide financing to transportation infrastructure projects across the nation. These projects will create up to two million new direct and indirect jobs and stimulate approximately $35 billion per year in new economic activity."

Create more public-private business incubators for poor communities

"Obama and Biden will invest $250 million per year to increase the number and size of incubators in disadvantaged communities throughout the country."

Expand loan programs for small businesses

Expand "the Small Business Administration's loan and micro-loan programs which provide start-up and long-term financing that small firms cannot receive through normal channels."

Urge China to stop manipulation of its currency value

"Barack Obama and Joe Biden will use all diplomatic means at his disposal to achieve change in China's manipulation of the value of its currency, a practice that contributes to massive global imbalances and provides Chinese companies with an unfair competitive advantage."

Strengthen antitrust enforcement

"Will reinvigorate antitrust enforcement, which is how we ensure that capitalism works for consumers."

Create new financial regulations

"I'll put in place the common-sense regulations and rules of the road I've been calling for since March -- rules that will keep our market free, fair, and honest; rules that will restore accountability and responsibility in our corporate boardrooms."

Invest $150 billion to encourage "green" business sector

"I will invest $150 billion over the next 10 years - $15 billion a year - to put America on the path of true energy security. This fund will fast-track investments in a new green energy business sector that will end our addiction to oil and create up to 5 million jobs over the next two decades."

Create a $3,000 tax credit for companies that add jobs

"During 2009 and 2010, existing businesses will receive a $3,000 refundable tax credit for each additional full-time employee hired."

Raise the small business investment expensing limit to $250,000 through the end of 2009

Will provide "temporary business tax incentives through 2009. The February 2008 stimulus bill increased maximum Section 179 expenses to $250,000 but this expires in December 2008. This provision will encourage all firms to pursue investment in the coming months, but will particularly benefit small firms which generally have smaller amounts of annual property purchases and so choose to expense the cost of their acquired property."

Extend unemployment insurance benefits and temporarily suspend taxes on these benefits

"Obama and Biden believe Congress should immediately extend unemployment insurance for an additional 13 weeks to help families that are being hit hardest by this downturn. In addition, they believe we should temporarily suspend taxes on unemployment insurance benefits as a way of giving more relief to families."

Allow penalty-free hardship withdrawals from retirement accounts in 2008 and 2009

"Obama and Biden are calling for legislation that would allow withdrawals of 15% up to $10,000 from retirement accounts without penalty (although subject to the normal taxes). This would apply to withdrawals in 2008 (including retroactively) and 2009."