The certainty argument.
US business are uncertain about the future and so they're keeping their money on the side line? Businesses don't know what's going to happen with regulation, taxes, health care, demand, which way the wind will blow tomorrow and so they're not willing to hire, make investments, buy lunch, whatever?
This clashes with "the stories we tell ourselves" that our business are inventive, risk taking (why we can't tax them, because we should reward risk taking), our brave business men creating jobs out there.
Well, one of these things isn't true (for our larger culture). Either we have brave business people, or ones who are too afraid of their shadow to make a move. IMHO, this is what happens when MBAs run businesses. I'm sure there are some good MBA Management people out there, but they're few and far between.
Then we have the line about "businesses need their profits because they plow those back into their businesses and create growth." Well, businesses have been creating and sitting are large sums of profits. And profits, by their very definition, means that they're not putting that money back into their business (or else it would be "expenses"). What to know how to get businesses off the stump and start putting that money to work?
"Your (the business world) isn't going to use it? We will." Remove loopholes that allow them to horde their cash. Remove loop holes that allow businesses to write of large sums for very little activity. And what will happen? Businesses will spend that cash on the things they should be spending on (R&D, buying/updating equipment, expanding markets, hiring people, etc). And if not, well, they'll help reduce our deficit. Win win if you ask me. But don't tax that money (or keep the same level we have now) and that money will sit.
As a side note, businesses also run out the line about how they found efficiencies and can now do the same amount of work with fewer people, so why should they hire more? This, again, is one of the reasons we shouldn't have MBAs running our businesses. Okay, I've been on this merry-go-round before, so let me help you all out, Skippy? Working your people at the level you are now (higher productivity level without new hiring, investment in new materials, or new equipment means one thing, you're working your people harder) will lead to them breaking. That's not what you want. Because when they break, they break hard. You might not remember why we have the phrase, "Going postal." I do. You may not remember why we have a large Social Security Disability payment (and application process). I do. You might not remember when people would trade jobs every six months because they wanted to find better pay/hours/bosses. I do. This was all back in the 90s after the 92 recession ended and we heard the same argument (why hire when we can do more with less) from the management community.