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'The 4% Solution': Glassman on Growth

August 2, 2012 by Mario Kranjac

History indicates that following a recession, economies usually have several years of above-trend growth. With that in mind, James K. Glassman — founding executive director of the Bush Institute — expresses dissatisfaction with the current recovery in his recent Forbes.com article, “Let’s Be Clear, The U.S. Economy Is Just Awful.” Last week, the Commerce Department reported that the economy’s decline in 2008 and 2009 was 3.1%. Meanwhile, growth in 2010 was only 2.4%, despite government stimulus spending, and growth and in 2011 was a paltry 1.8%. Growth in the second quarter of 2012 was only 1.5%. The CBO predicts only 2.0% growth in 2012 and 1.1% growth in 2013. These dismal growth figures may raise doubts about the Bush Institute’s goal for 4% annual GDP growth. After all, 3% annual growth is the long-term average growth rate since World War II — so is 4% attainable? Glassman believes that 4% growth is indeed a practical goal, but only if there are fundamental changes in policy. Two principles must guide policy reform, Glassman argues. First any potential policy change needs to be met with the question, “Does it increase growth?” If it does not, the reform is unneeded. Second, the government needs to enact policies that will pave the way for the private sector to create jobs. Glassman continues by outlining policy changes that can have big and immediate results. Many of these reforms — including tax cuts, a decrease in government spending, expansion of domestic energy resources, and a rationalized immigration policy — are outlined is great detail in the Bush Institute’s new book, “The 4% Solution.” Learn more about the book here, and read Glassman’s excellent column in its entirety here.

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