11. TEACH SKILLS WE NEED
I’m trying to figure out why job seekers don’t have the skills companies need; why the community colleges and vocational programs, which have done such a great job for America, are not providing more people with the skills to fill these vacancies. Do people just not enroll in the right programs or do they drop out because of the economy? I hope we can find out.
12. CUT CORPORATE TAXES
It’s true that our corporate rates are the second-highest in the world. But it’s also true that what our corporations actually pay is nowhere near the second-highest percentage of their real income in the world. So I’d be perfectly fine with lowering the corporate tax rates, simplifying the tax code, and saving some money on accountants, but broadening the tax base so that all of them pay a reasonable amount of tax on their profits. That’s what the Bowles-Simpson commission recommended, and it’s the right policy. Lower the rates to be competitive, but reduce the loopholes that cause unfair disparities. We all need to contribute something to help meet our shared challenges and responsibilities, including solving the debt problem.
13. ENFORCE TRADE LAWS
We lost manufacturing jobs in every one of the eight years after I left office. One of the reasons is that enforcement of our trade laws dropped sharply. Contrary to popular belief, the World Trade Organization and our trade agreements do not require unilateral disarmament. They’re designed to increase the volume of two-way trade on terms that are mutually beneficial. My administration negotiated 300 trade agreements, but we enforced them, too. Enforcement dropped so much in the last decade because we borrowed more and more money from the countries that had big trade surpluses with us, especially China and Japan, to pay for government spending. Since they are now our bankers, it’s hard to be tough on their unfair trading practices. This happened because we abandoned the path of balanced budgets 10 years ago, choosing instead large tax cuts especially for higher-income people like me, along with two wars and the senior citizens’ drug benefit. In the history of our republic, it’s the first time we ever cut taxes while going to war.