Barack to basics
President Obama visits Cedar Rapids-based company
Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Updated: Friday, February 3, 2012 17:02
After making his State of the Union speech on Jan. 24, President Barack Obama set off on a three-day, five-state tour, beginning in Cedar Rapids.
Obama visited Conveyor Manufacturing & Engineering plant in southwest Cedar Rapids on Jan. 25. Conveyor, which started outside of Shueyville in 1977, makes screws and mixers used by many high-profile companies including Kraft, Coors, and Procter & Gamble.
His speech, to a crowd of approximately 400 people, revolved around making an "America Built to Last" and focused on companies in America. He called for a new Manufacturing Communities Tax Credit, which he said would encourage investments in communities that have been affected by job loss. He praised American manufacturing companies that are hiring again, saying, "The economy is getting stronger."
Obama said jobs need to be brought back home to the United States. He said he believes tax deductions need to be removed for jobs shipped overseas and wants to implement incentives to companies bringing them back home. Obama said, as a nation, "we have to help these companies succeed" and called for people to "tell Congress to pass the tax cut."
He expressed concern for a rate change for taxes. He said if a person makes more than "$1 million a year," their tax rate should be 30 percent, and if a person makes less than $250,000 their taxes shouldn't increase. He referred to this idea as the "Buffett Rule," referring to Warren Buffett, who made headlines when his secretary was paying higher tax rates than the billionaire himself.
Obama addressed criticisms of his call for tax rates, saying it wasn't "class warfare" but was "just common sense."
Obama said the nation has come "way too far to back down now." He said focus needs to be put on the skills of U.S. workers, something, he said, "Iowa knows about: Hard work, responsibility, and the same rules for everyone from Main Street to Wall Street."
Laurie Muldoon of Coggon, who was in the audience, said Obama's goals "all sounded great if he follows through."
After Cedar Rapids, Obama traveled to Arizona, Nevada, Colorado and ended in Michigan. Republicans criticized his trip for being part of his re-election campaign.