President Addresses Nation in 4th State of the Union

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President Addresses Nation in 4th State of the Union

Feb 13, 2013

Posted by Katie Vlietstra-- Last night, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, outlining an ambitious second term agenda including: immigration reform, climate change, changes to current gun laws, and hope in tackling comprehensive tax reform. However in a startling move, President Obama only mentioned the small business community twice. 

In his first comment directed at small businesses, the President openly supported efforts for bi-partisan, comprehensive tax reform, saying, “The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America. That’s what tax reform can deliver. That’s what we can do together.”

As we have written, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-Mich.) has laid out an ambitious schedule to overhaul the American tax code this year. Tackling both individual and corporate tax reform, President Obama’s strong words are encouraging to us all that there is the will for true tax code reform.

In an additional effort to reach out to the small-business community, the President talked about aggressive expansion in manufacturing, energy, infrastructure (dubbed the “Fix-it-First” program), and housing, in an effort to help boost entrepreneurs and small-business owners. 

During his speech, the President also announced his wish to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.00. He argues that the federal minimum wage should be tied to cost of living, a proposal previously floated by Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.  While the speech was fairly predictable, the call for a dramatic increase in the federal minimum wage rate was fairly surprising.

Yes, the State of the Union lays out the legislative wishes of the President; however, it is up to Congress to enact the laws. The day after it is unclear what proposals will garner bi-partisan support in the months ahead, but we know the small-business community will be watching and encouraging Congress to address the many big issues impacting America’s self-employed.

Read the full text of President Obama’s State of the Union here.

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