Harold Ford Jr. to Barack Obama: Don’t Raise Taxes, Add New Regulations

by Greg Pollowitz

Harold Ford Jr. gives some half-time advice to President Obama:

Legendary football coaches succeed in large part because of their ability to make halftime adjustments when their teams are losing. At the halftime of Obama’s first term, our country is down — and so is my party.

As America’s head coach, President Obama needs to make some big and smart adjustments to jump-start economic growth and business investment, stimulate job creation, and get wages up for ordinary Americans. The most important thing our leader can do is to push the reset button with business and not raise taxes on companies in a time of economic hardship. The U.S. economy and workers benefit from a strong, healthy relationship between government and business. America’s most powerful job-creation engine, the private sector, remains under intense pressure from the uncertainty surrounding tax rates and new regulations, among other things.

As a part of the reset, the President and Democrats should make permanent the current middle-class, capital gains, and dividend tax rates; extend the current rate on top earners for two years; cut the corporate tax rate by half; and suspend the payroll tax — for both employers and employees — for six months starting Jan. 1 for all businesses with 500 or fewer employees. And as a compromise on raising rates on the top earners after 2012, the affected income level should be raised to $1 million from $250,000 — and Republicans should accept a nine-month extension of unemployment benefits for those hardest hit by this downturn.

Second, the President should order his department heads and agency chiefs to declare a moratorium on new regulations until further notice. Whether true or not, business already believes that the Obama administration practices “If you can’t legislate, regulate.” The business community needs to be able to look over the hill to make investments that affect the workforce, shareholders, and profitability for the next 10 years, not the next 10 months.

The rest here.