published Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Recapping the yapping: Reviewing Obama's visit to Chattanooga

A speech to forget

In President Obama’s speech at Chattanooga’s Amazon distribution center on Tuesday, he laid out a series of steps that he believes will help create jobs and revive the U.S. economy. Realistically, the overwhelming majority of his ideas were illogical schemes to increase government spending and allow government to hand-select winners and losers in the marketplace.

There were, to be fair, a few market-oriented aspects to his proposal that deserve more attention. His declaration of support for natural gas exploration likely made some environmentalists’ heads spin. However, the safe, clean energy source is vital in order to grow the economy while weaning America off of foreign oil.

For the sake of America’s manufacturing sector, we need to eliminate trade barriers and pave the way for more free trade. Getting American goods in the hands of consumers across the world is necessary to safeguard this nation’s long-term economic viability. Fortunately, it seems Obama understands this.

Finally, Obama’s pledge to work with Republicans to simplify and lower America’s uncompetitive corporate tax code is heartening. For too long, the United States has had one of the highest corporate tax rates of any country in the developed world. As a result, companies have fled oversees to take advantage of other countries’ more business-friendly tax climates. Lowering the corporate tax and making it fairer to businesses of all types and sizes would create jobs and spur America’s economy.

As a whole, however, if Obama presents his new jobs plan to Congress as an all-or-nothing, take-it-or-leave it proposition, federal lawmakers would be wise to leave it. Ultimately, Obama’s plan will do more harm than good to America’s job creators and the economy.

Phony scandals

Obama’s Chattanooga speech marks the fourth straight address in which he claimed that Republicans were more interested in focusing on his administration’s “phony scandals” than working on solutions to help Americans. Despite a negative reaction to the downright offensive claim, Obama continues to hammer away at the ridiculous assertion.

By declaring that the scandals plaguing the administration in recent months — from the Benghazi terror attack, to the revelations about the surveillance power of the National Security Agency to the IRS’ selective screening of conservative groups — are “phony,” Obama belittles the people who suffered (and in the case of Benghazi, died) from his administration’s decisions. He also indicates that he has no interest in taking responsibility for wrongdoing that he, ultimately, is accountable for correcting.

VW snubbed

During his speech, Obama again took credit for saving the auto industry and praised General Motors (which had to be bailed out with tax dollars because of the company’s unsound business practices) and the UAW (which caused much of GM’s financial woes) for creating jobs in the formerly shuttered Saturn plant in Spring Hill, Tenn.

The lengths to which Obama went to avoid mentioning the thriving VW plant that sits down the street from the Amazon facility where he delivered his speech was stupefying.

Volkswagen’s Chattanooga assembly plant is thriving without his policies — and without the UAW. As a result, he must’ve figured there was no use in celebrating the company or its employees. It was a truly tacky move.

Sticky Fingers, grubby paws

Sticky Fingers, the regional barbecue chain with locations in Hamilton Place and downtown Chattanooga, had the honor of catering the meal enjoyed by Obama and other dignitaries on Tuesday.

It’s only fitting that Sticky Fingers cooked for a president who raised taxes on 77 percent of Americans last year and passed a health care plan that contains 20 new or higher taxes on families and small businesses. Sticky fingers, indeed.

Republicans stayed away

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann who represents Chattanooga area in Congress, declined to attend the event. Last week Fleischmann sent out an Internet postcard to Obama celebrating Tennessee’s pro-growth, right-to-work policies and criticizing the burdens that Obamacare puts on businesses.

Fleischmann was not the only high-profile Republican to stay away from the president’s speech at the Amazon distribution center. In fact, it looked like “Senior Skip Day” for Republicans. There are more PhDs at a monster truck rally than there were Republican officials at the Amazon facility.

Gov. Bill Haslam scheduled events that ensured he would be far from Chattanooga on Tuesday. Sen. Bob Corker, a former Chattanooga mayor, released a statement welcoming Obama to “a great place to live and work.” State Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney criticized Obama for “persistently high unemployment, unchecked wasteful spending that has led to unprecedented debt,” and hoped that the president could learn from Tennessee’s low-tax, right-to-work business environment.

No area Democratic members of Congress or members of the Tennessee state Senate were in attendance, either. That’s because — largely thanks to having to share a ticket with Obama back in 2008 — there are none.

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soakya said...

VW is not thriving without 727 million in taxpayer dollars. So, Republican party chairman Devaney criticized Obama for “persistently high unemployment, unchecked wasteful spending that has led to unprecedented debt,” Did Devaney happen to check TN and Hamilton county unemployment rate before he made that statement. Let me summarize, over 10% in 48 counties, TN's rate .9% higher than the national rate, Hamilton county's rate is 1.2% higher than the national rate. In 6 years TN's debt increased by 1.1 billion and Hamilton county's by over 100,000,000. If it's not working in Washington then it's definitely not working in TN.

Wake up TN and look around at the counties who are now wanting more tax dollars. Why are they needing more tax dollars? Why didn't the mega deals bring in the growth that was promised?

July 31, 2013 at 12:23 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

The sad thing about the FP editorial page is not its politics, though I disagree with about 99% of them; or the absence of a factual argument. It is the absence of quality and decency of the editorials that respect each reader that saddens me.

The editorials do justice to a collection of potty-talk or name-calling by a bunch of 6th graders who have just figured out how to be obnoxious on-line.

They demean the entire news organization and embarrass the city.

July 31, 2013 at 8:28 a.m.
Plato said...

This is typical of the Tea Party franchised Free Press Editorials. The president offers the Republicans a plumb - lowering corporate tax rates, something they have been constantly squealing for, in exchange revenue from repatriated, off-shore corporate profits to be used to fix our crumbling infrastructure, creating new jobs in the process. A Win/Win proposal, and what happens? The Tea Party/Free Press throws a pie in the face of the president.

And suggesting Republicans attending an Obama event? are you serious? The wrath of the Tea Party would come crushing down on them for committing that unpardonable sin and they would be condemned to political hell for eternity.

Cooperation and compromise are profanity to the WingNuts.

July 31, 2013 at 11:43 a.m.
Plato said...

JonRoss said...

The president offers to lower corporate taxes (which are actually paid by consumers) in exchange for expanding the debt and deficits of this country. That what he is doing.

Had you been listening you would have learned that there is no new debt. The president's proposal is revenue neutral. The construction projects are paid for from a small (8%) one time tax on $1+ Trillion sitting in offshore tax havens. But what the heck, lets continue to have high corporate taxes, crumbling infrastructure and fewer jobs. That makes so much more sense.

BTW I have an MBA, founded two small business and manage a $1M plus portfolio. What's you economic qualifications besides listening to Glenn Beck?

August 1, 2013 at 1:27 p.m.
charivara said...

While you are right in bemoaning the crumbling infrastructure and fewer jobs, corporate taxes are at an all time low. The effective rate on corporate profits is about 13% --no one pays the statutory 35% rate--and many corporations pay no tax at all according to the Government Accountability Office. See

August 1, 2013 at 3:10 p.m.
timbo said...

Drew just got fired over this. Not only did the liberal idiots at the TFP get him, the Republican establishment hated him because he told the truth about Corker, Alexander, etc and liberals like Andy Berke.

This newspaper is basically a propaganda sheet for liberals. It is not worth the paper it is written on. Welcome back to your old name...."The Fish Wrapper." On second thought, I don't think any self-respecting fish would be caught dead wrapped in this thing. It only real use would be as toilet paper. That is the respect it deserves.

Real conservatives should cancel their subscriptions today. After yesterday's Obama love letter issue, everyone knows just how radical these guys are.

By the way, I came out of retirement just for this.

August 1, 2013 at 6:22 p.m.
timbo said...

Plato...just your name shows what a sociopath you are. Bragging about two little businesses and a measly portfolio give you absolutely NO credibility. If you fall for anything Obama says you are incredibly stupid.

Liberalism is like some kind of a cult. You believe in fantasy, worship a flawed "leader" and follow like a yellow dog. Yeah, you should be real proud.

August 1, 2013 at 6:31 p.m.
Plato said...

timbo - If cutting taxes and modernizing our infrastructure is "liberal" than I wonder how far out of the bounds of reality your mind works.

BTW if you think it's easy starting a small biz from scratch and building it into a 7 figure asset, go try it sometime. Like the other poster, the more you type the more you expose your ignorance.

August 1, 2013 at 8:31 p.m.
Plato said...

charivara - you're correct that the effective corporate tax rate is much lower than the statutory rate (though I have seen 24% not 13%) but here's the rub. The reason the effective rate is so low is that our 74,000 page tax code is full of loop holes that allow corporates to evade taxes, primarily by setting up sometimes complex off-shore tax havens in everywhere from Ireland to the Cayman Islands. The result of which is a large portion of revenue and some operations, are offshore instead of here in the US. The argument coming primarily from Republicans, but now being picked up by the President as well, is that by lowering the statutory rate and offsetting the revenue loss by closing some of these unfair loopholes, companies will be more motivated to move operations back onshore thus helping the US economy and crating jobs.

BTW a lot of small to medium sized corporations do pay up to the statutory rate becasue they do not have the resources to play all the offshore games, but we never hear about them, we only learn about the mega corps like GE that are getting away without paying their fair share.

August 1, 2013 at 8:42 p.m.
inquiringmind said...

It would be nice to see the FP issue an apology for the crass editorial title concerning President Obama's visit.

August 1, 2013 at 11:36 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

The TFP made another big step towards the trash bin when they fired Drew.

It seems to me that they would be well advised to bring Drew back with a big raise and give him the job of the editor that he was supposedly required to get approval for the title change from. That editor should be fired for suppression of interesting editorial writing.

August 2, 2013 at 12:58 p.m.
Oldhickory said...

Good job Times Free Press. Former Editor Drew Johnson was never the quality of Editor this paper warranted and his employment is outside of the paper's historic stature. I see in the Chattanoogan that he is now Tweeting “Getting fired for taking a stand is bad. Getting fired two weeks before your wedding is worse. Thanks for sticking by me." Well is former Editor Johnson feeling a little entitled and maybe a bit shocked about what employment at will means in the state of Tennessee? I believe so. Instead former Editor Johnson should look at his dismissal with the eyes of a TEAvangelical Taliban Party member as being held accountable for his actions that were outside of the tolerance of his at will employer. Don’t be a RINO Mr. Johnson and embrace your free market at will firing like the true conservative you’ve claimed to be over the past few months.

August 2, 2013 at 1:35 p.m.
chet123 said...



August 2, 2013 at 10 p.m.
jjmez said...

chet123, have you noticed how all drews supporters have gone suddenly silent, and scattering like cock-roaches when the lights are turned on since TFP have responded revealing there's more to why old boy drew was fired? Seems like drew might have a thang for porn? I knew there was something strange about dude.

August 2, 2013 at 10:58 p.m.
TheCommander said...

jjmez, is that really a good thing that the TFP printed a small portion of an editorial that never will be printed in its entirety just to get Drew's followers to walk away from him? You would never want to have a small, summarized portion of anything you wrote taken out of context, would you? I do not know if Drew is a porn addict or not. All I know is that before this incident he had about 800 followers on twitter and now he has about 4,150. That doesn't pay the bills but I am sure he will land on his feet.

August 5, 2013 at 3:59 p.m.
joneses said...

obama said Al Qaeda has been decimated and is on the run. How many embassies did he close because of an Al Qaeda threat? I think the number is 19. Another obama lie to make himself look good. And the real problem lies with you stupid blind gullible liberals who believe everything this fool says.

August 6, 2013 at 7:50 a.m.
joneses said...

“Both socialists and Islamists, imagine themselves possessing a morally superior position determined by Allah and historical inevitability, respectively, which justifies any action or behavior contributing to the goal of worldwide submission to their agenda.” Electing the Enemy - Anti-American Philosophies Underlying Obama's Policies

August 6, 2013 at 12:04 p.m.
peach said...

Wow, reading this link and this editorial it's easy to see why the country is in such bad shape. What so called right wing conservatives never seem to understand is that nothing gets done without the government or ( really we the tax payers) chipping in to get it started. Railroads, highways, hospitals , utilities we the tax payer set all that up and then big companies get the benefits. When it comes to spending money on big things that have returns years down the roads corporations have never done that. WE the people have to fund that. Just imagine had we the people kept the rails, ports and utilities profits to run government our personal taxes would be much lower. And why shouldn't we have done that? We paid for them, we should have. Right wingers are illogical at best, mean and idiotic at worst. The good news is most of them are older and old people die. So eventually maybe we can rid ourselves of the typical Republican. As for this editorial the guy seems to forget nobody raised taxes they let tax cuts expire . There is a difference.

The entire piece is nuts, companies did not run over seas for taxes on the main they ran out of the US to hire people who work for 50 cents or $2.00 and hour. And yes poor countries have given them tax breaks to come there. Would be nice if companies were more willing to pay some taxes and workers better. You know pay taxes to help build those roads and electrical grids the companies need. And like Henry Ford Pay their workers enough to buy their products and stimulate the economy. But I know this is all much to complicated for the typical right wing brain I am sure it's going in one ear and out the other for most of you.

August 6, 2013 at 4:31 p.m.
timbo said...

inquiring mind..,.. While the TFP is issuing apologies, maybe they should issue an apology for every other Bennett cartoon. Drew was pretty nice to Obama really. I would've called i Obama the piss ant he is.

You and the TF P's selective outrage is typical.

Tim Price

August 7, 2013 at 2:58 p.m.
Hunter_Bluff said...

Wages are the most controllable cost company's have and if possible they flow to countries with lower wages. The textile industry began in England, moved to New England to be closer to markets, moved to the southern US for lower wages, then moved to Japan, then Taiwan, then Korea, then China and now Vietnam. HOWEVER, low cost labor doesn't always win. It takes a ship 50 days to travel from Asia to the US and get the product to the shelves in Wal-Mart or Dillard's. When a company needs to respond to market conditions quickly they can't afford the 50 day ship time and manufacture closer to the market. There is good news for the US. Cheap natural gas and rising wages in China means jobs are coming back to the US. I see it every day at my customers.

August 11, 2013 at 11:01 a.m.
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