Invested in America

 

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.
CaptureThey are:

  • 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!

An Optimistic View of America’s Future!

 

In the latest issue of Barron’s, Frederick Rowe, the managing partner of Greenbrier Partners Capital Management, asks in “More Than a Sugar High?” , “Can you imagine a country that is managed in an economically rational manner, creating the wealth that’s necessary to take proper care of the citizens who get left behind? … What if our economic recovery is more than a sugar high?  What if there is more here than insanely stimulative monetary policy from the Federal Reserve?  What if the U.S. has already begun to steer an economic course to a period of unprecedented and genuine prosperity, achievement, and problem solving?”
Here are eight factors which Mr. Rowe gives to point us in the right direction:

  • North American Energy Independence (already on the horizon).
  • Sensible Immigration Reform: encouraging our most enterprising and hard-working people to become citizens rather than chasing them away.
  • Repatriation of Corporate Income: if a company domiciled in the U.S. makes money in Argentina and wants to invest it in the U.S. we double-tax the daylights out of it.  It would be hard to imagine a more counterproductive tax policy.
  • Changing Directors and Their Thinking: the once unthinkable mindset of corporate directors acting on behalf of long-term owners (rather than the CEOs with whom they play golf) is actually gaining traction.
  • Lowering Corporate Taxes: the tax-writing committees in Congress are working on this.
  • Increasing Technological Leadership: the most dynamic technology companies in the world are domiciled in the U.S. Technology, in the short run, displaces workers.  But eventually workers catch up because new technology creates new kinds of jobs that were never imagined before.
  • Americanization of the World: more than three billion people around the world will soon be able to afford to live much more like the 300 million Americans do.  So companies which make it big here have an automatic global opportunity.
  • Obamacare:  Even this bureaucratic catastrophe provides a large opportunity for economic opportunity.  Think of Jimmy Carter’s failures which led to Ronald Reagan’s successes.

“Let your imagination run and consider all the things that can be accomplished by an energy-independent, cash-generating, cash-repatriating country that is a hotbed of technological innovation.”
I can’t possibly say it any better than this!