Ask and you shall receive. A simple letter sent by the New York Tech Meetup to President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney got the candidates to discuss their policies around startups and the technology community at large.
The meetup group, which has a membership of 27,000 people and was created by Meetup.com founder Scott Heiferman in 2004, sent a letter to both candidates requesting an explanation of their policies affecting the startup community. Both candidates responded in a timely fashion, and the group posted the letters for its members to read, as first spotted by The Next Web.
In the letters, Obama and Romney talked up their appreciation for entrepreneurs and the technology sector’s ability to create new jobs.
The president noted that he launched the Startup America Partnership and signed the JOBS Act into law to make it possible for more people to invest in startups. He also promised to protect the “openness of the Internet while still enforcing intellectual property rights.”
Obama placed the strongest emphasis on his startup visa program and other initiatives, such as recruiting teachers and training specialized workers, designed to develop more talent in the U.S.
“Investments in human capital remain our strongest economic asset,” he said. “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,” he added, a clear insult of his opponent’s attitudes.
Romney, meanwhile, outlined an economic plan involving raising the visa caps for skilled foreign workers, a corporate tax reduction to 25 percent, taking action against nations like China that steal American intellectual property, educational reform, and an investment in research.
“As president, I will focus government resources on research programs that advance the development of knowledge, and on technology with widespread application and potential to serve as the foundation for private section innovation and commercialization.”
Romney too took a shot at his opponent. “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.”
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