Thursday, August 19, 2010
Smith Talks With Leadership Grads
Prime in the interchange were the economy and health care, a complex intertwined set of issues.
Smith stated the greatest challenge is with the economy: adding jobs and growing the economy, which he said has been beset with structural problems because we all fell in love with debt and easy credit, largely based on a housing bubble and speculation. Smith focused on three issue areas: energy, health care and tax policy. The political leadership has advanced programs on energy and health care, but the nation's tax policy is still dragging down our businesses competitive posture.
Smith acknowledged that there are aspects of the recent health care reform legislation that need to be fixed. He said Congress will revisit health care next year. But, he offered, many are happy with the present (prior to health care reform passage) system, especially as business pays a sizable portion of the cost.
As for the economy, Smith noted that the world has changed. The US is no longer able to dominate the world economy; it is now in a competitive environment. Smith disagrees with those who blame our present poor economy on having allowed foreign access to our domestic market, and spoke favorably about the proposed Free Trade Agreements with Korea and Colombia. But, he concedes we need to better our workforce's education and our competitive capabilities.