On This Week with Christiane Amanpour, the subject of the economy and recovery completely ignored the rather large elephant in the room: we could be more competitive but 30+ years of Republican economic policies--elimination of tariffs, union busting, free trade, outsourcing, and ridiculously generous tax cuts for corporations--have eliminated our manufacturing base and without addressing them, we'll NEVER be able to truly regain our competitiveness.
White House Economic Adviser Laura Tyson brings up Germany and points out that they've been able to show stronger than expected growth over the last quarter because they've invested in their manufacturing industries and offer vocational training to their citizens.
But for Chief Economist for the US Chamber of Commerce Martin Regalia, the answer isn't to reinvest in bringing manufacturing to the US. No, it's all about...wait for it... extending the tax cuts. Of course.
Could someone explain to me how doing the same thing that brought us to this economic disaster will bring us a different result?
Transcripts below the fold
AMANPOUR: Let me just quickly go to what you've mentioned about being competitive with the rest of the world. The big story out of Europe this weekend is that Germany has shown a stronger-than-expected growth over the last quarter.
Laura, you were saying something about how Germany had -- had taught and trained its workforce to compete in these situations.
TYSON: Right. Well, Germany has had a long-term commitment to manufacturing. And it has a very strong manufacturing base. It has a much larger share of its economy in manufacturing than we do.
A major part of that is (inaudible) serious vocational training and very serious ongoing training for manufacturing workers in Germany. And oftentimes a German firm with German workers will retrain and use technology at home rather than offshore those jobs abroad.
AMANPOUR: All right.
TYSON: And I want to point out, also, that Germany manages to do this with a much higher tax rate than we do. I think there should be corporate tax reform. I agree with what -- a lot of what Senator Corker and Martin Regalia have said, but we need investment.
And I would say, in thinking about the share of government and GDP, something that the senator mentioned, we need to distinguish between investment spending by the government -- whether it's federal, state or local -- and other spending.
TYSON: A dollar spent for infrastructure is different than a dollar spent for current operations of government.
AMANPOUR: All right. We've got about 30 seconds left. I want to know, do you think, Martin Regalia -- and then Senator Corker -- can some confidence be injected into the American consumer anytime soon?
REGALIA: Yes, I think it can. I think one thing that we have to address right away is, what's going to happen at the end of the year with the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts? There ought to be an extension, at least a temporary extension, and that would help to -- to ease both the consumers' fears and the business fears.
AMANPOUR: Senator Corker, 15 seconds.
CORKER: Yes, I agree with that. Let's -- let's leave tax policy as it is. Mark Zandi had a great piece today in the New York Times saying the same. Let's not fiddle any more. Let's leave it -- let's leave things so they're predictable and deal with -- deal with this down the road.
AMANPOUR: Well, we'll see how that plays out ahead of the elections and afterwards. Thank you all for joining us on this important topic.
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