DWYER: In 2008, candidate Obama promised to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. We heard it yesterday in Cedar Rapids. You just touched on it again. Why hasn’t that happened in three and a half years?
JAY CARNEY: Because unfortunately, there’s a constituency in Congress that supports tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas. The president believes, again, that we need to have a tax code that creates incentives for companies to do the opposite, that bring jobs home, that create jobs home, and we certainly shouldn’t have a tax code that provides incentives to companies to move jobs overseas, and that’s — and that’s very much an initiative that he supports.
I — the fact that it’s not easily achieved, I will — I will acknowledge. But it is the right thing to do, and it is broadly supported by the American people. It is opposed, unfortunately, by the Republicans in Congress, although I think that, you know, I — you know, I’m a firm believe in the — in the — in the possibility of compromise in the future.
And I think that — you know, one of the things that’s unique about our economic situation now is, as you know, we’ve seen a recovery in manufacturing jobs in this country that — I just looked at some data recently that showed that, in the recovery from the recession in 2001, 2002, manufacturing continued to lose jobs. But we have a situation where we have had a return of manufacturing jobs in this country, and we need to do everything we can to keep that going.
One of the reasons why we have that happening is because of the actions the president took to save the automobile industry in the United States. But there are numerous other things that the president and Congress have done to help encourage investments in manufacturing that go back to the question that I think Dan asked about the recovery act. We need to do everything we can to encourage job creation here in the United States.
DWYER: Given the importance of these — ending these breaks that the president has been really putting the spotlight lately: you just said a few minutes ago Republican opposition waned when he made the case on student loans, on payroll taxes. Did he — did he wait too long on this issue that was such a key part of his campaign in 2008?
CARNEY: I think he always supported this issue and, you know — you know, it would be a wonderful thing if you could get everything that needs to be done done in your first month or year. This needs to get done, and that’s why you’re hearing him argue for it now.