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Manufacturing Leaders Mixed on Obama Budget

Feb. 3, 2015
President Obama's new budget targets big business and the rich for new taxes while calling for nearly $4 trillion in spending. A good portion of the money raised from new taxes would go to infrastructure.

President Obama’s proposed budget for 2016 adds up to about $4 trillion in spending. He says the money will go to rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and helping middle-class Americans.

It pushes spending up by more than 21% from last year and includes new taxes on the rich and large businesses while breaking through current spending caps in areas including the military.

Republicans immediately came out against it, saying the president is looking backwards and that all the spending will only hurt middle-class families.

Texas republican representative Lamar Smith says it’s another case of tax and spend:

“Under this president, our nation’s debt has grown by more than $7 trillion. And the president’s latest budget proposal is more of the same. The American people do not want increased taxes and the government spending what it doesn’t have.

Also part of the proposal, changes to the tax system designed to simplify it for businesses, something National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons says it doesn’t do:

“If the President is serious about helping manufacturers sustain their resurgence in the United States, this outrageous budget proposal is a bad place to start. The Administration’s overall ‘tax-and-spend approach’ would make U.S. businesses less competitive, further complicating our tax code and stifling our economy while compounding our nation’s long-term fiscal problems.

The new budget includes a plan to expand the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation as well as a 5.5% increase from 2015 of $146 billion for research and development. John Mitchell, President and CEO of IPC, the Association Connecting Electronics Industries, calls the provision critical for his industry:

“IPC applauds the President for his commitment to grow advanced manufacturing and increase federal R&D investment, both of which are a critical part of IPC’s Global Policy Framework for 2015.”

President Obama proposed a clamp down on U.S. businesses with untaxed earnings held in overseas accounts. He’s proposed a 14% tax on the shielded earnings of multinational companies, and while that’s well below the corporate tax of 35%, it would raise more than $238 billion which would go directly to infrastructure.

There’s no chance the budget as it’s been presented will pass, but there are some areas both sides may be able to work together on, including a tax compromise and military spending.

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