Romney, Obama release statements on how to grow tech startups

“Both presidential campaigns released statements on how they would grow the technology startup industry,” Gregory Ferenstein reports for TechCrunch. “In letters addressed to the regional trade organization, NYTechMeeetup, [Andrew Rasiej, Chairman], both candidates gave moderately specific answers.”

“Obama focused on his track-record of technology policy, including the release of government data through the newly created Chief Technology Officer, the overhaul of patent reform, and the legalization of ‘crowdfunding,'” Ferenstein reports. “Romney promised more high-skilled immigrants, the creation of a new free trade zone, and to fund research. ”

Full article with bullet points here.

MacDailyNews Note: The letters via the NYTechMeetup website:


Dear Andrew,

Thank you to you and your members for your interest in my policies for promoting technological innovation and business start-ups. While the private sector is far more effective at pursuing and applying innovation than government could ever be, I do believe that there are key areas in which government policy must strengthen the ability of the private sector to innovate effectively.

Over the course of my campaign, I have laid out a detailed economic plan that seeks to strengthen the American economy by empowering entrepreneurs and workers and rewarding innovation. This plan emphasizes critical structural adjustments to promote growth rather than short-term fixes.

Human Capital. We must reform America’s legal immigration system to attract and retain the best and the brightest, and equip more Americans with the skills to succeed. I will raise visa caps for highly skilled foreign workers, offer permanent residence to foreign students graduating with advanced degrees in relevant fields, and restructure government retraining programs to empower individual workers and welcome private sector participation.

Taxes. We must pursue fundamental tax reform that simplifies the tax code, broadens the tax base, and lowers tax rates. I will lower the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, strengthen and make permanent the R&D tax credit, and transition to a territorial tax system. I will cut individual income tax rates across the board, and maintain today’s low tax rates on investment. And I will ensure that these changes are made permanent so that investors and entrepreneurs are not confronted with a constantly shifting set of rules.

Regulation. We must reduce the power of unaccountable regulators by requiring that all major regulations receive congressional approval and by imposing a regulatory cap that prevents the addition of new regulatory costs. In a Romney Administration. agencies will have to limit the costs they are imposing on society and recognize that their job is to streamline and reduce burdens, not to add new ones.

Trade. We must open new markets for American businesses and workers. I will create a Reagan Economic Zone encompassing nations committed to the principles of free enterprise. At the same time I will confront nations like China that steal intellectual property from American innovators while closing American access to their markets.

Education. America‘s K-12 education system lags behind other developed nations, and while our higher education system remains the envy of the world its costs are spiraling out of control. We must pursue genuine education reform that puts the interests of parents and students ahead of special interests and provides a chance for every child. I will take the unprecedented step of tying federal funds directly to dramatic reforms that expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results instead of their tenure. I will also ensure that students have diverse and affordable options for higher education to give them the skills they need to succeed after graduation.

Basic Research. President Obama‘s misguided attempts to play the role of venture capitalist, pick winners and losers, and spend tens of billions of dollars on politically-prioritized investments have been a disaster for the American taxpayer. Yet at the same time, we must never forget that the United States has moved forward in astonishing ways thanks to national investment in basic research and advanced technology. As president. I will focus government resources on research programs that advance the development of knowledge, and on technologies with widespread application and potential to serve as the foundation for private sector innovation and commercialization. Many of these policies may seem like common sense, yet they are ones that our nation is failing to pursue today and ones that our President has put on the back burner while trying his own hand at playing venture capitalist and focusing on government-led growth. The results are plain to see in a failed economic recovery that continues to produce extraordinarily disappointing growth and job creation As president, I will emphasize policies that once again make America the best place in the world to make a discovery, start a business, hire a worker, or find a job.


Mitt Romney

Obama- Biden:

Dear Members of NY Tech Meetup:

Thank you for carrying forward the entrepreneurial spirit that makes us a nation of doers, dreamers and risk takers. You understand that innovation and job creation occur when we make smart investments in infrastructure and technology and build an environment that encourages entrepreneurs to change the way we live and work.

Together we’ve used that bedrock American belief to recover and rebuild from the worst economic crisis in a generation. Today, entrepreneurship is at record levels and the number of business startups is up almost 10 percent since my first year in office. And this past Friday, we learned the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. As inventors, makers and thinkers you’ve helped get us here, believing that if anyone has a solid plan and is willing to work hard and play by the rules, we can turn any idea into something.

I believe it, too. That’s why I’ve been laying the foundation for an economy built to last through investments in infrastructure and technology. We’re expanding broadband networks to connect businesses large and small with markets around the World. The health care law invests in our health IT infrastructure, improving the delivery and management of care. Wall Street reform put a consumer protection cop on the beat, using technology to help consumers understand their rights when buying a home or using a credit card.

Across your government, we’ve used technology to bridge the offline and online divide to empower citizens and build a more participatory democracy. On my first day in office I created the position of U.S. Chief Technology Officer so we can pursue new open data initiatives to unleash unprecedented volumes of government data related to energy, education, international development, public safety and other areas. We’re unlocking our resources to fuel new products, companies and industries and connect the next generation of entrepreneurs to freely available government data, while rigorously protecting and respecting privacy rights. And we recently announced the first class of “Presidential Innovation Fellows,” talented private sector innovators who will spend six months in Washington partnering up with the govemment’s top innovators to meet straightforward goals: improve the lives of the American people, save taxpayer dollars and fuel job creation across the country.

This past April, I also signed a law to help high-growth entrepreneurs and small businesses harness “crowdfunding” to raise capital consistent with investor protections and make it easier for young, high- growth firms to go public. I also launched the Startup AmericaPartnership to improve the environment for high-growth entrepreneurship across the country. I encourage you to join, as we’refocusing on unlocking access to capital to fuel startup growth, connecting mentors and education to entrepreneurs, accelerating innovation from “lab to market” for breakthrough technologies and unleashing market opportunities in industries like health care, clean energy and education.

I signed patent reform into law to help American entrepreneurs bring inventions to market sooner, leading to new businesses, jobs and industries. But that also depends on a regulatory system that supports our homegrown innovations. That’s why I’ll continue to stand by you to protect the openness of the Intemet while still enforcing intellectual property rights.

But investments in human capital remain our strongest economic asset. We have a start-up visa program that’s allowing foreign entrepreneurs to establish businesses in America and create American jobs. And I have set concrete goals to create an economy built to last, including recruiting 100,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years and training 2 million workers at connnunity colleges for jobs in fields like health care, advanced manufacturing clean energy and information technology.

As a nation. we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity or fall back to the top-down, trickle-down economics that benefits the few, but guts investments in our country’s future that grow our economy — and your startups. But that’s the choice in this election between two fundamentally different paths for our country, between moving forward and falling back.

As your president, I will continue to stand by you because if we combine our creativity. our innovation and our optimism, we can achieve anything. And the reason I’ve never been more optimistic about the future is because of all of you. You’ll be the next entrepreneur to turn a big idea into something — a new invention or an entire new industry. That’s the promise of America; that’s what this country is all about.

That is the legacy of Edison and Bell. That is the story of Google and Twitter. That is what landed NASA’s Curiosity on Mars, reminding us that our preeminence — not just in space. but here on Earth — depends on investing wisely in the innovation, technology, and basic research that has always made the United States the envy of the world. So keep doing and dreaming and moving our country forward.


Barack Obama

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related article:
McCain-Palin vs. Obama-Biden: Technology and the U.S. presidential election – September 15, 2008


  1. More BS from Obama The Empty Chair as expected:

    Earth’s next Mars Rover – NOT Made in USA

    Last year, the Obama Administration killed Project Constellation, NASA’s Human Spaceflight program to return American astronauts to the Moon. This year, the President has killed NASA’s ExoMars Robotic Spaceflight program aimed at dispatching two ambitious missions to Mars in 2016 and 2018 to search for signs of life.

    Both ExoMars probes involved a joint new collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA) – ESA is now looking to partner with Russia as all American participation in ExoMars is erased due to NASA’ s forced pull out.

    On Feb. 13, NASA’s Fiscal 2013 Budget was announced and the Obama Administration carved away nearly half the Mars mission budget. Altogether, funding for NASA’s Mars and Planetary missions in the Fiscal 2013 budget would be sliced by $300 million in 2013. NASA was forced to gut the Mars program to pay for the cost overruns of the James Webb Space Telescope.

    Ed Weiler is NASA’s recently retired science mission chief (now replaced by Grunsfeld) and negotiated the ExoMars program with ESA. Weiler actually quit NASA specifically in opposition to the Mars Program cuts ordered by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and had these comments for CBS News:

    “To me, it’s bizarro world,” Weiler said an interview with CBS News. “Why would you do this? The President of the United States, President Obama, declared Mars to be the ultimate destination for human exploration. Obviously, before you send humans to the vicinity of Mars or even to land on Mars, you want to know as much about the planet as you possibly can. … You need a sample return mission. The president also established a space policy a few years ago which had the concept of encouraging all agencies to have more and more foreign collaboration, to share the costs and get more for the same bucks.”

    “You don’t cut spending for critical scientific research endeavors that have immeasurable benefit to the nation and inspire the human spirit of exploration we all have,” said Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.). Texas is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center.

    Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who represents the district that’s home to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), released this statement following his meeting with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to discuss the agency’s 2013 budget proposal:

    “Today I met with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden to express my dismay over widespread reports that NASA’s latest budget proposes to dramatically reduce the planetary science program, and with it, ground breaking missions to Mars and outer planetary bodies like Jupiter’s icy moon Europa, and to inform him of my vehement opposition to such a move.”

    “America’s unique expertise in designing and flying deep-space missions is a priceless national asset and the Mars program, one of our nation’s scientific crown jewels, has been a spectacular success that has pushed the boundaries of human understanding and technological innovation, while also boosting American prestige worldwide and driving our children to pursue science and engineering degrees in college.

    “As I told the Administrator during our meeting, I oppose these ill-considered cuts and I will do everything in my power to restore the Mars budget and to ensure American leadership in space exploration.”
    In an interview with the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Schiff said, “What they’re proposing will be absolutely devastating to planetary science and the Mars program. I’m going to be fighting them tooth and nail. Unfortunately if this is the direction the administration is heading, it will definitely hurt JPL – that’s why I’m so committed to reversing this.”

      1. F10T12 has a few valid points. But he skews things, as usual, in an attempt to support his viewpoint. For instance, he seems to lack understanding of the necessity to cut spending in some areas to close a budget. You would think that Mr. Conservative would appreciate the need to cut spending.

        Yes, the JWST is negatively impacting other science missions. It is too valuable a mission and too far along in its development to cut at this point unless everyone wanted to waste $3B or more. But F10T12 reveals his ignorance when attempting to disparage the President using a financial argument based on the James Webb Space Telescope. JWST began as the Hubble successor called Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) in 1996. It was renamed JWST in 2002 (during the Bush administration). So the Bush administration presided over much of the cost overrun in question and set the stage for the difficult NASA budget decisions currently being made. If it were up to me, I would take $10B or more out of the military budget and reinvigorate NASA with a major space exploration mission agenda. But, for some reason, we need to spend $560B a year to preserve our safety. I felt safer in the mid-1990s when U.S. defense spending was less than half of what it is today.

        1. There’s nothing in F10T12’s viewpoint that a tax increase on the middle class won’t solve. Or alternatively, he could just favor reducing the safety net for the poorest and sickest Americans.

    1. Re F2T2
      Obama cancels an expensive and unneeded Bush era government program (Constellation) and enacts/accelerates a private sector space initiative (COTS) and gets criticized by a supposed free market capitalist loving ‘conservative’.

      Re- the article above:
      For all my life, Republicans- especially those claiming to be conservative- claim that the government does not create jobs other than government jobs. Now, Willard “Mitt” RobbedMe and Math and Fact-Challenged Paul Ryan claim that they can create 12.5 million new jobs.

      For all the Republican bullshit regarding economics, there are some simple facts. Since the end of World War II the economy has done these things under Democratic Presidents:
      1- Creation of more jobs.
      2- Creation of more personal wealth.
      3- Overall greater economic growth.

      Under Republicans it has been significantly less. They also seem incapable of balancing a budget.

      Truman had some balanced budgets.
      Eisenhower had some balanced budgets.
      Johnson’s final FY 1969 (start Oct 1968) was balanced.
      Clinton had balanced budgets.

      Nixon, Reagan, Bush 1 and Bush 2 NEVER balanced a budget.

      BTW- Kennedy, a Democrat whom Republicans always bring up as having a model tax cut, never balanced a budget.

      PS- A large reason Obama’s deficits are so large is that, unlike Bush, he put Iraq and Afghanistan on the budget instead of funding it with supplementals.

      Those are the facts.

      1. Great selective facts.

        First let me state categorically that I am neither Dem nor Rep. I am a fiscal conservative.

        The REASON that Truman (D) and Eisenhower (R) both had balanced budgets is because prior to LBJ, our leaders did not use the public treasury to buy votes. BOTH sides are guilty of this. The ’60s swept aside fiscal responsibility to “cure” perceived social injustices. There were social injustices, but giving the alleged victims money to assuage white, middle class guilt was the wrong answer. Instead of providing a leg up, the “curative” social programs of the ’60s created a dependent class, and a political class that used public funds (its illegal to use private funds) to buy votes.

        Our dysfunctional government isn’t a Dem (although I give them more credit for it), or a Rep problem. It is an electorate problem.

        The electorate (using the power of the vote) has consistently voted for lower taxes for the largest voting block in existence (middle class and below), while electing leaders that pay the individual’s bills. Min a nutshell, our political debate has eroded to class warfare, fostered by ambitious, immoral politicians.

        The ONLY way to counter this is to remove the ability of politicians to favor one class over another, and to foster a tax system that cannot be manipulated for political gain, and fosters economic growth. The only tax system that does that, is a tax on consumption vs the current taxation of production. This is the “secret” weapon used by our Asian trading partners to lower their cost of production. Anybody that would disagree, does so because they have a vested (political) interested in maintainiing the status quo.

        1. Selective, but on subject.
          As to welfare, the amount of corporate welfare far exceeds expenditures on poor families and middle class tax deductions (mortgage interest, professional expenses and local taxes come to mind) are not far behind.

          It amazes me that the banksters that robbed individuals, pension funds, small businesses, government and investors of trillions are not being publicly strung up and paraded in the streets. The bulk of TARP went not to business- it went to the banksters. Add to that the $16 Trillion that Bernanke & Company tossed on the pile without the consent of Congress, the President and tried to cover the whole ting up.

          Finally, a consumption tax shifts tax burden from the affluent to the working poor. A working class person spends every cent they make, a middle class person most of what they make and a wealthy person a small portion of what they make.

    2. NASA’s model needs to change. NEO exploration and utilization should be used to spur growth in a private space sector. The wealth of materials available in space is far beyond what we have planet side and if we can start to exploit that we can ease the current race to strip our home bare.
      There is certainly a place for a vital space program, but NASA should be setting itself up as a planetary flight watchdog. We need to start planning for a future where there are active spaceports across the globe and not just a few places like Canaveral and the Russian Cosmodrome.

  2. Romney: Create a company so I can buy it, squeeze every cent I can out of it, and leave it in bankruptcy and all the employees out of work.

    Obama: Create a company so I can tax the hell out of it and give all your hard earned money to lazy people on welfare, leaving you in bankruptcy.

        1. Romney is not evil. He was performing a valuable service and running a legal business. If you don’t understand the purpose of a Bain Capital, don’t try to criticize it. Look at Staples, for example.

          1. Romney also took a government bailout, and “negotiated” repaying only 10 cents on the dollar using the threat that if the government didn’t accept the deal, he would siphon all the money out of Bain and give it to the company’s officers, leaving Bain bankrupt. Thus the government would have gotten zero. THAT is Romney’s style.

    1. Question: When talking to someone, why does Paul Ryan consistently lower his chin, furrow his brows so they look like a plowed field, and look at you out of the top of his eyes? Can he not look you straight on?

      No politics involved, I’m really curious about this habit.

  3. Obama can’t even describe our style of government correctly. We have a representative republic, people. Democracy leads to mob rule and no protection for the rights of the minority (not just the racial type). In our republic we have to constitution to protect everyone’s rights to prevent a simple majority from taking them away.

  4. Still undecided but I don’t like the fact that Romney wants to bring skilled immigrants for technology jobs. Shouldn’t he want to train AMERICANS to do such careers starting at the educational level.
    Many arguments have been made about immigrants vs. Americans, but if Romney wants to be the next U.S. President, he should want to train the people who live in the United States first, and then bring in the benefits of hard-working educated immigrants who want to share in the same dream of living the American life.

    1. I agree with you. We need to give preference to American jobs. However, the tech companies today have a shortage of qualified workers. The visa system must be fixed to fill those short-term needs and the education needs to be fixed to fill the future needs of those companies.

        1. We have had this H1B visa problem for over 3 decades. It will never get fixed as long as India and China graduates 10 times more engineers and technicians than we do. There is never enough funding for a basic educational system and our society continue to make heroes out of vapid reality show personalities rather that a strong trade school system that supports business and commerce at all levels. Research into new more efficient learning methodologies, more efficient tools. Here are a host of things at can be done in this area but no candidate seems to want to put the proper tools in the field and apply the proper incentives to the people involved.

    1. It’s a voucher system. It’ll pay for a few MRI’s. Everything else will require people to require bankruptcy (even more than they already do). This is supposed to reduce healthcare costs?

    2. @U.S. Voter: which solutions are those? The ones he talks about today? The ones he talked about yesterday? Or the ones he’ll talk about tomorrow, but then walk back the day after? Like his “of course we’ll cover pre-existing conditions” lie during the debate, which he “corrected” the day after to clarify that no, his proposals wouldn’t cover pre-existing conditions.

  5. How anyone can get worked up over campaign promises by either of these doofuses is beyond my understanding.

    And F10T12, the government should be spending money on space exploration–really? With the feds borrowing $0.40 of every dollar they spend and maintaining annual deficits over $1T, we need to look for more places to stop spending money. Spending on NASA has many benefits, but let’s get our financial house in order first.

    1. NASA won’t be there (as it was a few months ago) when you finally deign to get back to it. It will be gone forever.

      Gov’t does a few things well. Space was one of them, back before we decided to build a low orbit bus and stop shooting for the stars (literally).

      Obama blew some $528 million on Solyndra (run by Obama supporter, George Kaiser; read as: “kickback”). The Empty Chair cut NASA by $300 million. What if Mr. Vacant Seating had simply kept NASA’s budget where it was and added that $528 million to their budget?

  6. All politics aside, has anyone even for a second wondered why Apple is so successful? The world and U.S. economy tanked a few years ago but Apple has flourished. Why is everyone so focused on political propaganda? Stop being brainwashed and think about what has worked in the past and why aren’t we using it?

    Apple succeeds where others fail because Apple invests in its products. Other companies fail because they don’t want to and therefore can’t compete. If government was the problem, Apple and other companies would not be so successful. So the problem isn’t government or taxes.

    Some countries have much higher taxes than the U.S. but they are also flourishing, well educated, and prospering societies.Taxes isn’t a problem, it just has been politically demonized in the U.S.

    Simple minded people tend to believe what a particular political group says. What about thinking for yourself? What about thinking for your country?

    I’m not taking a political side but I am taking an American side that says, “America first.” The republicans have to stop being haters and opposing everything the president does. Obama is a very smart president who cares a lot about his country. The republicans have been guilty of feeding the rich for too long but they represent a corporate side of America that this of value. They shouldn’t try to shut down social programs but instead help fund it and help educate people. They have to come up with real solutions to common problems and make them understandable not just to them but to the country.

    The democrats have to make a case for social programs because these programs are the glue that keeps people happy in this country. Social programs where great decades ago but have been eroded by political nonsense.

    I think there is a lot for the 2 sides to work on. Instead of working together, they are helping pull this country apart over nothing more than silly politics. This country is at its best when people come together.

    Evaluate your words and see how it helps or if it simply adds more political BS.

  7. seems like Willard is against giving jobs to Americans.Now instead of outsourcing we’ll bring in cheap labor.. Just what America needs. And an economic zone sounds like giving jobs away again to foreign labor.

    1. Someone cares what KidRock has to say?

      The tech debate is vital. The only place America is still leading in creativity and establishing new ventures is within the technology sphere, and quite frankly I’m tired of seeing pictures of politicians using an iPhone to supposedly represent how “tech savvy” they are. OMG! Obama has a FaceBook page. He must be soooo smart.

      Of both of the two statements above, the Romney one was more substantive. The Obama one was the typical hot air mixed with self congratulatory claptrap. The Romney one was the typical, “Yes this must be done, but don’t ask me how” crap you get from the Republicans.

      Either way nothing was stated that either candidate could be held accountable for.

        1. No, it’s a Kid Rock production.

          Here’s my point and why the Tech Debate matters not.
          Until the fundamentals of our economy are put back in place, it doesn’t make a difference how good the tech companies do because they will eventually be vilified just as coal, oil, pharmaceuticals, the auto industry and Wal-Mart are.

          They will then be required to pay their ‘fair-share’ and shrink their profits, not to mention become more ‘green’ and ‘worker-friendly’.
          You say ‘but Apple is already ALL of these’…..well, then you haven’t been paying attention. They still must be punished for success, so they must be MORE green, MORE worker friendly, and taxed WAAAY more.

          The ripple effects of where our economy and government are heading moots any plans for the tech world.

          And to further the simple-minded argument of the video, there are bigger issues to settle than this. Anyone who could possibly be swayed from one candidate to the other because of their stance on tech is a fool. If you moved closer to Romney, then you have ignored all the other crap from Obama. And if you moved closer to Obama, then your precious tech bubble will soon burst regardless…..

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