A Smart Agenda for America’s Economy

By August 1, 2006Economy

Embracing both American confidence and competitiveness, President Bush used his remarks to an NAM audience last week to highlight the Administration’s economic accomplishments.

More importantly, he laid out a path for future prosperity, calling for enactment of the “smart things we can do,” i.e., the policies this country needs to ensure future economic growth.

We at the NAM think he hit all the rights points, which, of course, just happened to coincide with the NAM’s priorities. There can be little doubt that tax relief has spurred strong economic growth, leading to record employment and a declining federal deficit.

Indeed, a Commerce Department release that same day announced the latest evidence of that growth: New orders for durable manufactured goods rose 3.1 percent in June. The broad-based rise in new orders was the strongest in three months and the fourth gain in the past five months, anticipating a strong third quarter for U.S. manufacturing.

And how can we maintain and enhance America’s ability to compete in the global marketplace? The President’s remarks proposed a straightforward course of action:

  • Invest in basic research, promote science and math education, and reauthorize the R&D tax credit.
  • Make tax cuts permanent while repealing the death tax.
  • Empower the consumer in health care through expansion of Health Savings Accounts (a topic his economic advisor, Al Hubbard, covered well in remarks before the President’s speech).
  • End frivolous and “junk” lawsuits.
  • Expand domestic energy supply, including nuclear power.
  • Opening foreign markets fairly, to allow U.S. exports. (The President reaffirmed his interest in continuing the Doha round of trade negotiations.)
  • The House has departed steamy Washington for the August recess, while the Senate remains for another week of debate over important issues involving energy, tax relief and pension reform.

    As members of Congress meet with their constituents back home, they’ll be asking for guidance on which issues to pursue during the remainder of the 2006 congressional session.

    We suggest that they start with the economic agenda outlined by the President in his remarks to the NAM, an agenda the NAM heartily endorses.

    In fact, we think it would be the smart thing to do – so America can remain confident, competitive, and the economic leader of the world.