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State of the Union Address Offered Little for Treasurers

  • By Ira Apfel
  • Published: 1/21/2015

President Barack Obama’s annual State of the Union Address last night offered little for corporate treasury and finance professionals. The speech, which focused on what the President called “middle-class economics,” offered tax breaks for middle-class families at the expense of America’s wealthiest.

Highlights of the President’s State of the Union Address:

Congress should pass cybersecurity legislation: “No foreign nation, no hacker, should be able to shut down our networks, steal our trade secrets, or invade the privacy of American families, especially our kids,” he said. “We are making sure our government integrates intelligence to combat cyberthreats, just as we have done to combat terrorism. And tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyberattacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.”

Next month his Administration will issue a report “on how we’re keeping our promise to keep our country safe while strengthening privacy.”

Congress and regulators should close tax loopholes—especially those for corporations: “But for far too long, lobbyists have rigged the tax code with loopholes that let some corporations pay nothing while others pay full freight. They’ve riddled it with giveaways the superrich don’t need, denying a break to middle class families who do. Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America. Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford.”

Bring manufacturing jobs back to America: “21st century businesses, including small businesses, need to sell more American products overseas. Today, our businesses export more than ever, and exporters tend to pay their workers higher wages. But as we speak, China wants to write the rules for the world’s fastest-growing region. That would put our workers and businesses at a disadvantage. Why would we let that happen? We should write those rules. We should level the playing field. That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers, with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe that aren’t just free, but fair. More than half of manufacturing executives have said they’re actively looking at bringing jobs back from China. Let’s give them one more reason to get it done.”

Word Count

Below are a few key words for treasury and finance professionals, and the number of mentions they garnered in President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

Business: 13

Tax: 7

Privacy: 4

Cyber: 2

Bank: 1

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