A Plan to Keep America the Home of Innovation

On Tuesday, May 12th, Governor Chris Christie of New jersey gave a policy speech at The University of New Hampshire in Manchester in which he revealed his proposal for economic growth in America.

He called his strategy the “Five-Point Plan for Four Percent Growth,” which consists of:

  1. pro-growth tax reform,
  2. getting regulation under control,
  3. launching a national energy strategy,
  4. creating incentives and removing disincentives to work,
  5. ensuring that America is the home of innovation.

He harped on his final bullet point, stressing the importance of America remaining the home of innovation in the world and explained that for this to happen, “we need to take steps today to preserve the building blocks that got us here.”

According to Christie, our first step is to “spend less on entitlements and more on research that leads to innovation.” As government spending on entitlements and health care has skyrocketed, research and development investment has been stagnant.

For example, last year spending on Medicaid went up 16.2%, while the budget for the National Institutes of Health went up 0.1% and the budget for the National Science Foundation declined 4.3%.

“Yet it is this exact investment in basic R&D, in such areas as bio-medical research, materials science, and high performance computing – delivered in a large part through individual investigators at universities – that has laid the vital groundwork for so much innovation in America’s fastest growing industries, such as technology and biotech. America will not remain the home of innovation if we allow our crown jewels – the great research universities that lead the world – to wither on the vine,” said Christie.

Christie suggested making the R&D tax credit permanent to boost private sector innovation. He stated that in 2009, over 12,000 companies, including over 5,000 manufacturers, used the R&D tax credit.

Christie voiced that remaining the leader in innovation would also require more focus on education and assurance that new, growing companies have access to capital.

He closed with asking the American people to look around them and understand that something has to be done. Unfortunately, innovation on it’s own can not dig us out of this rut when we are surrounded by heavy regulation and a lack of investment in our economy, said Christie.

“Other countries are adopting pro-growth policies and making forward-looking investments. In a competitive world, with talent distributed across the globe, the right to be the home of innovation has to be earned. It is not given.”

Click here for the full speech.


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