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Obama and Romney Outline Their Policies for Tech Startups

By - Source: NYTM | B 86 comments

Both candidates provide lengthy responses in what they'll do if they become president.

A New York-based tech group recently sent both Barack Obama and Republican challenger for the U.S. president position Mitt Romney a letter asking how their policies would benefit technology startups, with both candidates providing a lengthy response.

Romney highlighted the fact that he'll raise visa caps for highly skilled foreign workers, whilst also lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, in addition to strengthening the R&D tax credit. Romney, who has a net worth of quarter of a billion dollars, added that all major regulations will have to receive congressional approval.

Obama, meanwhile, mentioned the creation of the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer, as well as pursuing open data initiatives, which unlocks data that can "fuel new products, companies, and industries".

Mitt Romney's response reads:

Dear Andrew [NY Tech Meetup's chairman of the board],

Thank you to you and your members for your interest in my policies for promoting technological innovation and business start-ups. While the private sector is far more effective at pursuing and applying innovation than government could ever be, I do believe that there are key areas in which government policy must strengthen the ability of the private sector to innovate effectively.

Over the course of my campaign, I have laid out a detailed economic plan that seeks to strengthen the American economy by empowering entrepreneurs and workers and rewarding innovation. This plan emphasizes critical structural adjustments to promote growth rather than short-term fixes.

Human Capital. We must reform America's legal immigration system to attract and retain the best and the brightest, and equip more Americans with the skills to succeed. I will raise visa caps for highly skilled foreign workers, offer permanent residence to foreign students graduating with advanced degrees in relevant fields, and restructure government retraining programs to empower individual workers and welcome private sector participation.

Taxes. We must pursue fundamental tax reform that simplifies the tax code, broadens the tax base, and lowers tax rates. I will lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit, and transition to a territorial tax system. I will cut individual income tax rates across the board, and maintain today's low tax rates on investment. And I will ensure that these changes are made permanent so that investors and entrepreneurs are not confronted with a constantly shifting set of rules.

Regulation. We must reduce the power of unaccountable regulators by requiring that all major regulations receive congressional approval and by imposing a regulatory cap that prevents the addition of new regulatory costs. In a Romney Administration. agencies will have to limit the costs they are imposing on society and recognize that their job is to streamline and reduce burdens, not to add new ones.

Trade. We must open new markets for American businesses and workers. I will create a Reagan Economic Zone encompassing nations committed to the principles of free enterprise. At the same time I will confront nations like China that steal intellectual property from American innovators while closing American access to their markets.

Education. America's K-12 education system lags behind other developed nations, and while our higher education system remains the envy of the world its costs are spiraling out of control. We must pursue genuine education reform that puts the interests of parents and students ahead of special interests and provides a chance for every child. I will take the unprecedented step of tying federal funds directly to dramatic reforms that expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results instead of their tenure. I will also ensure that students have diverse and affordable options for higher education to give them the skills they need to succeed after graduation.

Basic Research. President Obama's misguided attempts to play the role of venture capitalist, pick winners and losers, and spend tens of billions of dollars on politically-prioritized investments have been a disaster for the American taxpayer. Yet at the same time, we must never forget that the United States has moved forward in astonishing ways thanks to national investment in basic research and advanced technology. As president. I will focus government resources on research programs that advance the development of knowledge, and on technologies with widespread application and potential to serve as the foundation for private sector innovation and commercialization.

Many of these policies may seem like common sense, yet they are ones that our nation is failing to pursue today and ones that our President has put on the back burner while trying his own hand at playing venture capitalist and focusing on government-led growth. The results are plain to see in a failed economic recovery that continues to produce extraordinarily disappointing growth and job creation As president, I will emphasize policies that once again make America the best place in the world to make a discovery, start a business, hire a worker, or find a job.

Sincerely,
Mitt Romney

Barack Obama's response, meanwhile, is as follows:

Dear Members of NY Tech Meetup:

Thank you for carrying forward the entrepreneurial spirit that makes us a nation of doers, dreamers and risk takers. You understand that innovation and job creation occur when we make smart investments in infrastructure and technology and build an environment that encourages entrepreneurs to change the way we live and work.

Together we've used that bedrock American belief to recover and rebuild from the worst economic crisis in a generation. Today, entrepreneurship is at record levels and the number of business startups is up almost 10 percent since my first year in office. And this past Friday, we learned the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. As inventors, makers and thinkers you've helped get us here, believing that if anyone has a solid plan and is willing to work hard and play by the rules, we can turn any idea into something.

I believe it, too. That's why I've been laying the foundation for an economy built to last through investments in infrastructure and technology. We're expanding broadband networks to connect businesses large and small with markets around the World. The health care law invests in our health IT infrastructure, improving the delivery and management of care. Wall Street reform put a consumer protection cop on the beat, using technology to help consumers understand their rights when buying a home or using a credit card.

Across your government, we've used technology to bridge the offline and online divide to empower citizens and build a more participatory democracy. On my first day in office I created the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer so we can pursue new open data initiatives to unleash unprecedented volumes of government data related to energy, education, international development, public safety and other areas. We're unlocking our resources to fuel new products, companies and industries and connect the next generation of entrepreneurs to freely available government data, while rigorously protecting and respecting privacy rights. And we recently announced the first class of "Presidential Innovation Fellows," talented private sector innovators who will spend six months in Washington partnering up with the government's top innovators to meet straightforward goals: improve the lives of the American people, save taxpayer dollars and fuel job creation across the country.

This past April, I also signed a law to help high-growth entrepreneurs and small businesses harness "crowdfunding" to raise capital consistent with investor protections and make it easier for young, high- growth firms to go public. I also launched the Startup America Partnership to improve the environment for high-growth entrepreneurship across the country. I encourage you to join, as we're focusing on unlocking access to capital to fuel startup growth, connecting mentors and education to entrepreneurs, accelerating innovation from "lab to market" for breakthrough technologies and unleashing market opportunities in industries like health care, clean energy and education.

I signed patent reform into law to help American entrepreneurs bring inventions to market sooner, leading to new businesses, jobs and industries. But that also depends on a regulatory system that supports our homegrown innovations. That's why I'll continue to stand by you to protect the openness of the Internet while still enforcing intellectual property rights.

But investments in human capital remain our strongest economic asset. We have a start-up visa program that's allowing foreign entrepreneurs to establish businesses in America and create American jobs. And I have set concrete goals to create an economy built to last, including recruiting 100,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years and training 2 million workers at community colleges for jobs in fields like health care, advanced manufacturing clean energy and information technology.

As a nation. we can't simply cut our way to prosperity or fall back to the top-down, trickle-down economics that benefits the few, but guts investments in our country's future that grow our economy -- and your startups. But that's the choice in this election between two fundamentally different paths for our country, between moving forward and falling back.

As your president, I will continue to stand by you because if we combine our creativity. our innovation and our optimism, we can achieve anything. And the reason I've never been more optimistic about the future is because of all of you. You'll be the next entrepreneur to turn a big idea into something -- a new invention or an entire new industry. That's the promise of America; that's what this country is all about.

That is the legacy of Edison and Bell. That is the story of Google and Twitter. That is what landed NASA's Curiosity on Mars, reminding us that our preeminence -- not just in space. but here on Earth -- depends on investing wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made the United States the envy of the world.

So keep doing and dreaming and moving our country forward.

Sincerely,
Barack Obama

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    sykozis , October 15, 2012 10:15 PM
    You guys seem to miss 1 major issue here. Romney talks about cutting taxes, yet at the same time talks about increasing spending. Can someone explain to me exactly how you can reduce tax revenue (which means the government will have LESS MONEY TO SPEND), increase spending and still reduce the national debt. I'm no math major, but the last I checked the less money you have coming in, the less you have to spend without INCREASING DEBT.... And where exactly has Romney outlined his plan to fix the economy? All I've heard from him is "20% tax cut across the board".... Mathematically, it's impossible to reduce revenue, increase spending and reduce debt at the same time.

    Some people need to lean a bit about economics.... This is simple economics 101.... less revenue + more spending = more debt

    Yes, Romney is a businessman.... If you consider someone that buys profitable companies, immediately fires employees (hiring back a small percent of former employees at reduced wages), borrows money against the companies, then bankrupts them....a businessman.... Sounds to me like he's a typical rich, greedy bastard that only cares about his own pocket and nothing else....
  • 11 Hide
    deadlockedworld , October 15, 2012 9:36 PM
    Just for the sake of debate: improving schools to train American workers for the tech sector vs. opening up visas to allow more foreign workers.

    Obviously we need to do both, but both ideas here are valid and worthwhile.
Other Comments
  • 7 Hide
    Trialsking , October 15, 2012 9:16 PM
    Quote:
    On my first day in office I created the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer...


    Lets create more government!!! Hooray for democracy. Big governement will tell what is best for us!!!!!
  • Display all 86 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    nebun , October 15, 2012 9:23 PM
    obama is an idiot
  • 0 Hide
    classzero , October 15, 2012 9:31 PM
    Trust we'll think for you.
  • 8 Hide
    Martell77 , October 15, 2012 9:32 PM
    Interesting contrast in the responses. Romney responds with a plan to streamline operation and to get the government out of the way as much and as responsibly as possible, while Obama responds with a campaign speech and details more governmant intrusion. Government does not innovate, the best example is the military. When they want a new aircraft or anything, they look to private sector companies to design and meet their goals.

    The fact that Romney is/was a businessman and Obama has never worked in the in private sector has never been clearer. The question Nov 6th really is whether people want more government or less.
  • 11 Hide
    deadlockedworld , October 15, 2012 9:36 PM
    Just for the sake of debate: improving schools to train American workers for the tech sector vs. opening up visas to allow more foreign workers.

    Obviously we need to do both, but both ideas here are valid and worthwhile.
  • 6 Hide
    shafe88 , October 15, 2012 9:41 PM
    nebunobama is an idiot
    Don't forget etch-a sketch Mitten's he's an idiot too. I support Jill Stein so neither idiot's will get my vote.
  • 3 Hide
    v90k , October 15, 2012 9:51 PM
    Open more visas that way we can provide even more jobs to foreigners and our future kids can care less about education! That way we can save billions on educational funding and have everything made overseas. Hell, I might as well go to college in another country for way cheaper just as long as I can come back and get a job here! hell yeah
  • 1 Hide
    dkcomputer , October 15, 2012 9:53 PM
    Yes, Obama has a better plan because the government is always GREAT at every private sector industry it touches - they all flourish with job growth................ Or at least, obamas worshipers are brainwashed to think that, even though we have this thing called "History" which they triumph as a liberal art, but apparently don't study it for Ship
  • 2 Hide
    nebun , October 15, 2012 9:56 PM
    giovanni86Well its nice to know who your voting for. Because there both idiots, but the idiot Obama has a better plan then romney, and he's going to win

    i am not voting for neither of these idiots
  • -3 Hide
    shafe88 , October 15, 2012 10:00 PM
    nebuni am not voting for neither of these idiots
    Agreed!
  • 2 Hide
    falchard , October 15, 2012 10:01 PM
    yea I am not voting for either too. They are pretty much the same. However, purely on this issue Romney has the right idea. Increase visas concentrating tech in the US, and create a 21st century K-12 cirruculum focused on current tech then tech of the 19th century.
  • 3 Hide
    blurr91 , October 15, 2012 10:03 PM
    v90kOpen more visas that way we can provide even more jobs to foreigners and our future kids can care less about education! That way we can save billions on educational funding and have everything made overseas. Hell, I might as well go to college in another country for way cheaper just as long as I can come back and get a job here! hell yeah


    Taken this argument to its logical conclusion would be to close off the US economy. Have you thought about that scenario?
  • 4 Hide
    thecolorblue , October 15, 2012 10:05 PM
    Because they keep their promises... oh wait, they are both complete pandering hypocrites.

    not voting for either idiot
  • -4 Hide
    bigshootr8 , October 15, 2012 10:10 PM
    I love Obama's stance I'm going to tell you everything I have done but I'm not going to tell you what I failed at. Businessman versus politician
  • 15 Hide
    sykozis , October 15, 2012 10:15 PM
    You guys seem to miss 1 major issue here. Romney talks about cutting taxes, yet at the same time talks about increasing spending. Can someone explain to me exactly how you can reduce tax revenue (which means the government will have LESS MONEY TO SPEND), increase spending and still reduce the national debt. I'm no math major, but the last I checked the less money you have coming in, the less you have to spend without INCREASING DEBT.... And where exactly has Romney outlined his plan to fix the economy? All I've heard from him is "20% tax cut across the board".... Mathematically, it's impossible to reduce revenue, increase spending and reduce debt at the same time.

    Some people need to lean a bit about economics.... This is simple economics 101.... less revenue + more spending = more debt

    Yes, Romney is a businessman.... If you consider someone that buys profitable companies, immediately fires employees (hiring back a small percent of former employees at reduced wages), borrows money against the companies, then bankrupts them....a businessman.... Sounds to me like he's a typical rich, greedy bastard that only cares about his own pocket and nothing else....
  • 8 Hide
    junger , October 15, 2012 10:22 PM
    sykozisYou guys seem to miss 1 major issue here. Romney talks about cutting taxes, yet at the same time talks about increasing spending. Can someone explain to me exactly how you can reduce tax revenue (which means the government will have LESS MONEY TO SPEND), increase spending and still reduce the national debt. I'm no math major, but the last I checked the less money you have coming in, the less you have to spend without INCREASING DEBT.... And where exactly has Romney outlined his plan to fix the economy? All I've heard from him is "20% tax cut across the board".... Mathematically, it's impossible to reduce revenue, increase spending and reduce debt at the same time.Some people need to lean a bit about economics.... This is simple economics 101.... less revenue + more spending = more debtYes, Romney is a businessman.... If you consider someone that buys profitable companies, immediately fires employees (hiring back a small percent of former employees at reduced wages), borrows money against the companies, then bankrupts them....a businessman.... Sounds to me like he's a typical rich, greedy bastard that only cares about his own pocket and nothing else....


    Finally, someone not brainwashed.
  • -4 Hide
    jjb8675309 , October 15, 2012 10:26 PM
    It reeks like democrats in here
  • 6 Hide
    blurr91 , October 15, 2012 10:27 PM
    sykozisYou guys seem to miss 1 major issue here. Romney talks about cutting taxes, yet at the same time talks about increasing spending. Can someone explain to me exactly how you can reduce tax revenue (which means the government will have LESS MONEY TO SPEND), increase spending and still reduce the national debt. I'm no math major, but the last I checked the less money you have coming in, the less you have to spend without INCREASING DEBT.... And where exactly has Romney outlined his plan to fix the economy? All I've heard from him is "20% tax cut across the board".... Mathematically, it's impossible to reduce revenue, increase spending and reduce debt at the same time.Some people need to lean a bit about economics.... This is simple economics 101.... less revenue + more spending = more debtYes, Romney is a businessman.... If you consider someone that buys profitable companies, immediately fires employees (hiring back a small percent of former employees at reduced wages), borrows money against the companies, then bankrupts them....a businessman.... Sounds to me like he's a typical rich, greedy bastard that only cares about his own pocket and nothing else....


    Socialist view of the economy is that the pie is fixed in size.

    Capitalist view is to grow the pie.
  • 4 Hide
    LightningStryk17 , October 15, 2012 10:48 PM
    @people voting for neither candidate... have fun throwing your vote away.
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