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Renewing America

Ideas and initiatives for rebuilding American economic strength.

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Morning Brief: Obama Likely to Sign FAA Funding Bill

by Jonathan Masters
February 7, 2012

President Obama is expected to sign legislation that will support federal aviation programs (NYT) through 2015, ending five years of stopgap financing. The bill includes about $16 billion a year for airport construction and will advance the FAA’s upgrade to next generation navigation technology, or NextGen, a GPS-based system that will enable more efficient air traffic control.

Infrastructure. Read more on how upgrading the nation’s aging network of roads, bridges, airports, railways, and water systems is essential to maintaining U.S. competitiveness.

Corporate Taxation and Regulation

Gaming the Corporate Tax Regime

The U.S. corporate tax system is “blatantly unfair,” writes Christopher Matthews for TIME, with large multinationals better able to game the system than their domestic counterparts. The current tax regime will probably not survive too much longer, he adds, with legislation aimed at reducing the nominal corporate rate and closing loopholes likely after the election.

Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff looks at the U.S. regulatory environment through the lens of the food industry and its connections to American obesity and other “broader problems with contemporary capitalism.” He advocates creating  institutions that are more effective at protecting society’s long term welfare, and strike a better balance between big brother and consumer sovereignty.

Corporate regulation and taxation. Read more from top economists and business experts on solutions for addressing corporate tax reform.

Education and Human Capital

Investing in Math and Science Educators

The White House is set to announce a plan to invest $100 million over the next ten years to train 100,000 new teachers with an emphasis on math and science (WashPost). The proposal will combine $80 million in grant support to teacher-training programs at colleges with some $22 million from the private sector. The program aims to help boost U.S. global competitiveness by cultivating more high-skilled workers to fill the widening employment gap in some of these fields.

Education and human capital. Read more from experts discussing ways to improve U.S. education and immigration policies.

Innovation

Kodak’s Lesson’s for Competitiveness

Harvard Business School Professor Willy Shih discusses the plight of Eastman Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy protection last month. He suggests that, though much of the camera technology originated in the United States, the company’s reliance on offshore manufacturing for its production process ultimately undermined its ability to innovate effectively.

Innovation. Read more on how the U.S. capacity to innovate could play a chief role in economic growth.

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