Every year the big trade groups in Washington come out with some kind of statement about how the State of the Union either shows how their industry is hugely important or how the State of the Union failed because it didn’t include their industry’s priorities. I’ve collected a few of these for you to peruse:
President Obama highlighted the urgent need to revitalize our economy, create jobs, build a world-class infrastructure system, and strengthen America’s competitiveness in his State of the Union address. America must move swiftly to create millions of jobs, unshackle entrepreneurs and small businesses, and restore America’s economic leadership around the globe–or we will be left behind. … The U.S. Chamber will work with anyone who shares our goals and we don’t care who gets the credit.
Business Roundtable is heartened by President Obama’s focus on American competitiveness. U.S. job creation and long-term growth depend on a robust economic climate. The priorities laid out tonight by the President must now be analyzed closely to ensure they will promote, rather than stifle, an environment where the private sector can create jobs and expand the economy. … we must promptly ratify and pursue more trade agreements, enact comprehensive tax reform and reevaluate excessive and expensive regulations.
Tonight was a missed opportunity. The president focused on job growth through federal spending, but was silent on one of the best ways to create jobs: allow more energy development. Natural gas and renewables are important components of our energy mix, but we will need our nation’s vast oil resources for decades to come. The oil and natural gas industry is a key driver of new jobs and economic prosperity Producing more oil and gas at home, which most Americans want, could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce our deficit by billions, and enhance our energy security. Even better, the government wouldn’t have to invest a single taxpayer dollar – just give industry a green light to invest its own money.
President Obama certainly understands our need to be competitive in manufacturing, new technology and skills. But he must also understand that last-century trade deals that reward and encourage corporations that outsource American jobs will do little to generate net new jobs in the United States or raise living standards here or abroad. Working people will continue to urge the President and his administration to stick to his campaign promises of reforming trade deals, so they do more than boost profits for multi-national corporations. … We firmly believe that we should not be cutting government spending when the economy is so weak. This economy is failing to create jobs at an adequate pace to dig us out of the hole we’re in, and a spending freeze at this time will slow down job creation and growth – further worsening the deficit. This is simply the wrong medicine at the wrong time. And it is essential that the President acts on the commitment he outlined tonight to strengthen and preserve our essential retirement security programs – Social Security and Medicare. All working people will continue to fight any proposals that aim to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Let’s be clear, there is no greater investment in this country than getting Americans back to work. With nearly 30 million Americans unemployed or underemployed, we don’t just have a jobs crisis, we have a jobs emergency. … It’s alarming to hear some Republicans counter the president’s bold vision with devastating cuts that would destroy jobs and plunge our nation back into recession. These Republicans are quick to dismiss job-creating investments in education and infrastructure as unnecessary spending while pushing for budget-busting tax breaks for millionaires. And it’s no longer acceptable for corporations and Wall Street banks to earn a record $1.6 trillion in profits while refusing to put America back to work.
In his State of the Union address to the nation, the President called for Americans to unleash their creative spirit and come together around the common goal of outcompeting other nations in an increasingly challenging economic global environment. A key cornerstone to meeting this challenge will be a focus on biomedical research investment. We are pleased the President acknowledged medical innovation as a critical means to help bolster the economy, control health care costs and improve Americans’ health and productivity.
We thank President Obama for shining a spotlight on education and for recognizing the remarkable work of the nation’s teachers. Our students’ futures and the economic well-being of our nation are at stake. We know that the road to the American dream runs directly through our nation’s classrooms. … We welcome the president’s call to fix No Child Left Behind. We agree that it is time to right-size the role of the federal government in education. However, we remain concerned that competitive grants such as Race to the Top create winners and losers among our students.
We are pleased to see the possibility of the first predictable long-term federal policy toward renewable energy. But of course we’ll need to make sure the policy really deploys the renewable energy Americans want in the near term, as well as the long term. … It is true that fossil fuels receive five times more in federal incentives than renewable energy. We don’t believe that is in line with Americans’ current priorities.
The AMA applauds the President’s willingness to consider medical liability reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits and help reduce health care costs. Medical liability reform is critical as every American pays the price for high medical liability costs.