January 21, 2015

15 State of the Union quotes that require more government spending or mandates

Fifteen proposals in President Obama’s State of the Union address would require more taxpayer dollars or burden businesses (and ultimately workers) with mandates. The proposals would cost tens of billions of dollars that would have to be paid for by taxpayers. Job creators would have to deal with higher costs and more legal complications, which will reduce wages and available jobs. Here is a list of 15 ways Obama would increase costs to taxpayers, businesses, and workers.

1. Childcare

“In today’s economy, when having both parents in the workforce is an economic necessity for many families, we need affordable, high-quality childcare more than ever. It’s not a nice-to-have — it’s a must-have. It’s time we stop treating childcare as a side issue, or a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us. And that’s why my plan will make quality childcare more available, and more affordable, for every middle-class and low-income family with young children in America — by creating more slots and a new tax cut of up to $3,000 per child, per year.”

“More slots” will require more government funding for childcare.

2. Paid sick leave

“I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington. Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave.”

Employers are primarily concerned with controlling their overall compensation costs, so the only thing that mandating paid sick leave would do is cause businesses to reduce workers' cash wages.

3. Gender pay gap

“That’s why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.”

Discrimination lawsuits will flood an already-packed legal system, requiring more government funding for judges and support staff. Businesses would have to adopt stricter legal policies to keep themselves safe from costly lawsuits.

4. Minimum wage

“To everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it. If not, vote to give millions of the hardest-working people in America a raise.”

A higher minimum wage might raise a few people above eligibility for welfare programs, but it will increase unemployment and make even more people eligible. Government would also have to start paying employees higher wages. Businesses would have to cut costs elsewhere to pay for the increased wages, making layoffs likely.

5. Unions

“We still need laws that strengthen rather than weaken unions.”

Stronger unions mean higher wages for government workers, who need taxpayer funding for their salaries and benefits. Businesses would likely be strong-armed into costlier benefits for employees without any increased productivity.

6. Community college

“I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college — to zero. ... I want to spread that idea all across America, so that two years of college becomes as free and universal in America as high school is today.”

Obama’s “free” community college program will cost taxpayers $80 billion over 10 years.

7. Student loan debt

“I want to work with this Congress, to make sure Americans already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments, so that student debt doesn’t derail anyone’s dreams.”

The administration of this program — as well as any increase in government loan guarantees — would require more government spending.

8. Infrastructure

“Twenty-first century businesses need 21st century infrastructure — modern ports, stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest Internet. Democrats and Republicans used to agree on this. So let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than thirty times as many jobs per year, and make this country stronger for decades to come.”

More infrastructure, and construction jobs, would require plenty of taxpayer dollars.

9. Medicine

“Tonight, I’m launching a new Precision Medicine Initiative to bring us closer to curing diseases like cancer and diabetes — and to give all of us access to the personalized information we need to keep ourselves and our families healthier.”

The research will require taxpayer funding.

10. Internet

“I intend to protect a free and open Internet, extend its reach to every classroom, and every community, and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.”

Extending the Internet to every classroom will require more government funding or subsidies of Internet provision.

11. Islamic State

“Tonight, I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria].”

Force against the Islamic State will require more taxpayer funding for military action.

12. Cybersecurity

“Tonight, I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber-attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s information.”

To better defend the country from cyberattacks, defense agencies will need more funding to protect Americans from new threats.

13. Global health

“The world needs to use this lesson to build a more effective global effort to prevent the spread of future pandemics, invest in smart development, and eradicate extreme poverty.”
This proposal would send more taxpayer dollars to global agencies such as the United Nations, the World Health Organization and others.

14. Climate change

“Over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts. I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action.”

More international action on climate change will ask business to restrict their emissions and energy use. Government will have to invest in cleaner, but more expensive, energy-efficient buildings.

15. Guantanamo Bay

“Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of GITMO in half. Now it’s time to finish the job. And I will not relent in my determination to shut it down.”
Closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay will require more funding for federal prisons across the country, as the prisons look to take on more prisoners and update their security systems.


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