WASHINGTON, DC-It’s all done now except for the partisan bickering. President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night, committing to many hot button issues as gun control and elder care.
A number of topics on the list last night would directly or indirectly impact the commercial real estate market, topics that range from tax reform and jobs creation to repairing the failed infrastructure of our cities.
“Now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform that encourages job creation and helps bring down the deficit,” the President said. “The American people deserve a tax code that helps small businesses spend less time filling out complicated forms, and more time expanding and hiring; a tax code that ensures billionaires with high-powered accountants can’t pay a lower rate than their hard-working secretaries; a tax code that lowers incentives to move jobs overseas, and lowers tax rates for businesses and manufacturers that create jobs right here in America.”
Obama also noted that the US should be a “magnet” for jobs. “After shedding jobs for more than 10 years, our manufacturers have added about 500,000 jobs over the past three,” he said. “There are things we can do, right now, to accelerate this trend. Last year, we created our first manufacturing innovation institute in Youngstown, Ohio. A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering the 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything. There’s no reason this can’t happen in other towns.
“So tonight, I’m announcing the launch of three more of these manufacturing hubs,” he said, “where businesses will partner with the Departments of Defense and Energy to turn regions left behind by globalization into global centers of high-tech jobs. And I ask this Congress to help create a network of 15 of these hubs and guarantee that the next revolution in manufacturing is Made in America.”
The call for more progress in the field of clean energy, especially solar and natural gas, also came under the president’s vision for the job market as well as the environment. “As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we,” he said.
The long-documented challenges of failing urban infrastructures also came under attack last night, as Obama blamed decaying metros in part for the offshoring trend: “Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire: a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and internet; high-tech schools and self-healing power grids.
“Tonight, I propose a ‘Fix-It-First’ program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country,” he said. “And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. Let’s prove that there is no better place to do business than the United States of America. And let’s start right away.”
That rebuilding, he noted, has to include the housing sector, and he offered homeowners a stay against possible rate hikes: “Right now, there’s a bill in this Congress that would give every responsible homeowner in America the chance to save $3,000 a year by refinancing at today’s rates. Democrats and Republicans have supported it before. What are we waiting for? Take a vote, and send me that bill. Right now, overlapping regulations keep responsible young families from buying their first home. What’s holding us back? Let’s streamline the process, and help our economy grow.”