For American workers and business owners straining to gain a foothold as our economy works its way out of the Great Recession, the deficit reduction plan released last week by the Republican Study Committee cannot be good news. That’s because, rather than nurturing the roots of economic revival, the RSC plan will plow salt into the fertile soil of our economy, fundamentally undermining economic recovery today and innovation, productivity, and competitiveness in the United States for years to come.
The contrast between how the Republican Study Committee wants to take us backward in innovation and productivity and where America needs to move forward to secure a dynamic competitive economy for the 21st century was highlighted by the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to the White House this week. What issue led the discussion? How China’s support for innovation, research and development, and government-led investments in cutting-edge infrastructure have fundamentally transformed their economy into a formidable competitor.
A recent report by the Center for American Progress, “Rising to the Challenge: A Progressive U.S. Approach to China’s Innovation and Competitiveness Policies,” presents a responsible array of policy choices for Congress to consider in our global competition with China—and make no mistake: We are engaged in a serious contest with China for which we need to prepare, not rest on our laurels.
In addition, there is certainly room to improve the efficiency of spending on public services and public investments supplied by the federal government—not least in the Defense Department, which the RSC plan ignores completely. But the draconian cuts proposed by the RSC are not about fine-tuning critical government functions to improve economic growth; it’s a scorched-earth policy intended to fundamentally deform the government’s role in advancing America’s economic vibrancy.
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