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The President's Weekly Address

October 16, 2010

After a decade of hardship for middle class families and a recession that wiped away millions of jobs, we are in the middle of a tough fight to rebuild this economy and put folks back to work.

Winning this fight will not depend on government alone. It will depend on the innovation of American entrepreneurs, on the drive of American small-business owners, on the skills and talents of American workers. These are the people who will help us grow our economy and create jobs.

But government still has an important responsibility, and that's to create an environment in which someone can raise capital to start a new company, where a business can get a loan to expand, where ingenuity is prized and folks are rewarded for their hard work.

That's why I fought so hard to pass a jobs bill to cut taxes and make more loans available for entrepreneurs. It eliminated the capital gains taxes for key investments in small businesses. It increased the deduction to defray the costs of starting a company. And it's freeing up credit for folks who need it. In fact, in just the first 2 weeks since I signed the bill, thousands of business owners have been able to get new loans through the SBA.

But we need to do more, so I've proposed additional steps to grow the economy and spur hiring by businesses across America. Now, one of the keys to job creation is to encourage companies to invest more in the United States. But for years, our Tax Code has actually given billions of dollars in tax breaks that encourage companies to create jobs and profits in other countries.

I want to close these tax loopholes. Instead, I want to give every business in America a tax break so they can write off the cost of all new equipment they buy next year. That's going to make it easier for folks to expand and hire new people. I also want to make the research and experimentation tax credit permanent. Because promoting new ideas and technologies is how we'll create jobs and retain our edge as the world's engine of discovery and innovation. And I want to provide a tax cut for clean energy manufacturing right here in America, because that's how we'll lead the world in this growing industry.

These are commonsense ideas. When more things are made in America, more families make it in America, more jobs are created in America, more businesses thrive in America. But Republicans in Washington have consistently fought to keep these corporate loopholes open. Over the last 4 years alone, Republicans in the House voted 11 times to continue rewarding corporations that create jobs and profits overseas, a policy that costs taxpayers billions of dollars every year.

That doesn't make a lot sense. It doesn't make sense for American workers, American businesses, or America's economy. A lot of companies that do business internationally make an important contribution to our economy here at home. That's a good thing. But there is no reason why our Tax Code should actively reward them for creating jobs overseas. Instead, we should be using our tax dollars to reward companies that create jobs and businesses within our borders.

We should give tax breaks to American small businesses and manufacturers. We should reward the people who are helping us lead in the industries of the future, like clean energy. That's how we'll ensure that American innovation and ingenuity are what drive the next century. That's how we'll put our people back to work and lead the global economy. And that's what I'll be fighting for in the coming months.


NOTE: The address was recorded at approximately 4:35 p.m. on October 15 in the Library at the White House for broadcast on October 16. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on October 15, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on October 16. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of this address.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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