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Reacting to the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness

Jan 18, 2012
Carter Wood

A selection of news and opinion of the release Tuesday of "Roadmap for Renewal," the year-end report of the President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Many reporters put the proposal in a political, election-year context -- an editorial judgment call that makes some sense in second-day coverage. Energy beat reporters highlighted the call for expanded domestic energy production, the "all in" approach to energy policy. As for the other substantive recommendations, we think they were solid.

Los Angeles Times, "Obama praises business-friendly proposals"

President Obama praised a series of business-friendly proposals from his jobs council — the latest example of the president's strategy of seizing Republican-leaning ideas to protect himself against attack in the coming campaign.

Obama's jobs council on Tuesday called for overhauling the corporate tax structure and reforming federal regulations. Corporate tax rates should sink to "internationally competitive levels," the report recommended, and an "all-in strategy" should be adopted to cut reliance on foreign fuels by expanding domestic drilling.

As the election season heats up, Obama has been mixing a populist economic message — trumpeting his efforts to create a consumer protection agency, for example — with steps to woo centrist voters by preempting Republican ideas.

Politico, "Dissent in White House jobs council's ranks?

Before a council meeting Tuesday, the White House webcast caught United Food and Commercial Workers President Joseph Hansen abstaining from a vote on the council’s latest report.

The new report embraces lower corporate tax rates, in addition to recommendations on education, research and development, domestic energy and manufacturing.

“My concern is with the tax reform,” Hansen said, adding that he would “like to analyze it a little bit further” because of the fiscal pressures caused by the $15 trillion national debt.

As we commented Tuesday, "Not all council members agreed with the move to a competitive territorial system, raising fears that companies would exploit changes to avoid domestic taxation. At initial glance, those objections look like positioning for the coming political battles."  

And energy coverage ...

UPDATE (12:05 p.m.): Various news outlets are reporting that the State Department will announce its rejection of the pipeline this afternoon. Washington Post story here, Politico here. What happened to that "all-in" energy strategy?

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Senior Communications Advisor
Business Roundtable

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