January 3rd, 2013
07:37 PM ET

What’s missing from the cliff debate: Growth

By Fareed Zakaria

Historically, when the U.S. government, World Bank or International Monetary Fund have advised troubled countries, they have stressed that achieving fiscal stability is only part of the solution. The key to reviving growth is structural reforms to make an economy more competitive, as well as investments in human and physical capital to ensure the next generation for growth. Yet we have been unable to follow our own prescriptions.

The United States could become more competitive in many areas. Our gargantuan and corrupt tax code clocks in at 73,000 pages, including regulations. Vast aspects of the economy, such as agriculture, receive massive and distorting subsidizes for no larger national purpose. Regulations in industries such as finance are highly complex, and sometimes worse, with banks being supervised by multiple federal agencies and 50 sets of state agencies, all with overlapping authority.

Read the full column at the Washington Post here

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Topics: United States

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. rightospeak

    Growth is right, but also the very obvious WAR SPENDING that depleted our treasury. In order to have growth, you need to bring back the off shored jobs. A good book on the subject is Lou Dobbs "Exporting America..." All you need to do is reverse the trend. A high time to have the discussion. Stop endless wars, bring all troops home ( didn't Ron Paul say that ? )-big savings. If we can not compete in garlic on our shelves , how is your Globalist Agenda going to create growth ?Even in the E.U at public markets dried garlic granules are from Communist China. The Globalist Agenda is devastating small economies and will result in bloodshed in the near future.
    You can not have growth and Globalist Agenda at the same time . Communist China with Wall Street capital and help from our Congress will push us into an abyss and the Chinese will buy our farms – high time to sound the alarm ."Free Trade" is a myth propagated by fools like George Bush.

    January 3, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Steve Williams

      I have a text minisitry and I want to share todays text with you today. Please get this out to everyone including the top people at CNN to get the message out to our leaders. See my text of the day below:
      (ATM!)Our Leaders want 2 know how 2 avoid the Fiscal Cliff after disobeying God's laws? The answer is at the ATM ("A"t "T"he "M"ercy) of God. Ps 123:3

      January 8, 2013 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  2. What's

    What's really missing is discussion about getting rid of the FED. Why do we pay interest on money that they just print? The money is not backed by the FED. It's backed by the US Military. So the USA should get the money interest free.

    January 4, 2013 at 9:31 am | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    A country's social welfare and its economic growth don't always synchronise. Political leaders have a headache vis-à-vis an aging population and low birth-rates.

    January 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      Their policies revolve around the needs of the baby-boomers. Hence cutting social beneits to reduce deficits is a political suicide.

      January 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Yet cutting investments in infrastructure and human resources will have a negative impact on growth, that a country badly needs to generate revenues and reduce debts.

        January 4, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
  4. empresstrudy

    What was missing was ANYTHING that didn't have specifically to do with only keeping the hamster wheels of the Federal government spinning.

    January 5, 2013 at 10:21 am | Reply
  5. YoungNiceGuy

    Economic Growth and Living Standards aren't mutually inclusive. While Brazil has a larger and faster growing economy than England, I would much rather be a British man than a Brazilian man any day.(I'm of neither Nationality, I am just trying to make a point.)

    Also, with interests rates being so low, now would be the time to invest in Infrastructure. However, out politicians have lost the ability to see a purchase (New War Planes) from an Investment (Education, Infrastructure, NASA).

    January 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  6. Just For Fun

    How about setting the budget growth at 50% of the previous year’s economic growth. This would be a slow pull out of this mess but a steady one. “2013 budget set at 50% of 2011 growth”
    Also manitory 2% cut across the board in administration “office workers” spending in all departments for the next 10 years.
    Always remember the first rule of politics: Get elected/re-elected
    Second rule always remember RULE #1
    There is no rule #3
    Dose anyone have the annual cost for each member of congress staff that we’re paying for.

    January 14, 2013 at 8:25 am | Reply

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