Intel CEO Paul Otellini told CNN the White House "doesn't get" how to create jobs. Otellini, whose company is enjoying the most profitable year in its four-decade history, said he's not looking for much, "just some action" on at least three things: extending the research and experimentation tax credit, reforming corporate tax rates and promoting small business investment. For what it's worth, the Obama administration has proposed the first and third and published a report on the second.



Otellini knows how to run a mega-successful multinational corporation and I do not, so I'll defer to him on the primacy of reforming corporate tax rates. But much of his criticism seems off-base.

He slams the stimulus by saying that "swimming pools in Mississippi are not going to create lasting jobs." That's cute, and all, but it makes the stimulus sound like a Big Dig, whereas the actual Recovery Act went primarily to health care, education, income support and tax cuts, not construction projects. He also claims the administration doesn't understand how businesses invest, but then he acknowledges that its plan to make the R&D tax credit permanent is exactly the kind of thing businesses need to make long-term investments in experimentation. Asked for a specific certainty-creating plan, he again mentions R&D and corporate tax reform.

Three cheers for hearing out CEOs, but when Otellini talks about the Obama administration and uncertainty in corporate tax rates, R&D tax credits, and so forth, it's interesting that he focuses on what the White House should do rather than on what Congress can do. In this partisan, deficit-hawk, obstruction at every turn climate, should do and can do are worlds apart.

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