The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies, has just issued a new report, “Invested in America: A Growth Agenda for the U.S. Economy”, describing four actions which policymakers can take to rejuvenate the U.S. economy.
- Restore Fiscal Stability: constrain federal spending in a manner that reduces long-term spending growth, making both Medicare and Social Security more progressive and less expensive.
- Enact Comprehensive Tax Reform: adopt a competitive, pro-growth tax framework that levels the playing field for U.S. companies competing in global markets. Several studies estimate that cutting the U.S. corporate tax rate by 10 % (e.g. from 35% to 25%) would boost GDP by 1% or more.
- Expand U.S. Trade and Investment Opportunities: pass updated Trade Promotion Authority legislation and use TPA to complete many new trade agreements which are already pending.
- Repair America’s Broken Immigration System: increase the number of visas for higher skilled workers and provide legal status for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S.
These are the same “big four” policy changes which many progressive business leaders as well as evenhanded think tank experts often recommend. They are really just common sense ideas which reasonable people should be able to come together on.
Isn’t it obvious that we’ll soon be in big trouble if we don’t get our enormous budget deficits under control? And that controlling entitlement spending is key to getting this done?
Isn’t it just as obviously commonsensical that even U.S. based multinational corporations will try to avoid locating business operations in countries like the United States with very high corporate tax rates?
Isn’t it likewise obvious that foreign trade is just an extension of domestic trade and that the world is better off with as much trade as possible?
Finally, the secret of a vibrant, growing economy is to encourage as much initiative and innovation as possible. Who take more initiative than the immigrants who figure out how to get here in the first place?
We don’t have to accept a sluggish economy, high unemployment and massive debt! But we do need to take intelligent action to extricate ourselves from the predicament we are in!