he US racked up debt faster than any other G7 country during the Great Recession, so that its debt burden is now as bad as the average European country. If current projections hold, by 2040 the US will have the worst debt burden of any G7 country save for Japan, reaching levels not seen since World War II.
Each year, U.S. state and local governments waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars competing to lure or retain business investment, with little impact on business behavior. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss lay out incremental steps for curbing the subsidy war, beginning with greater disclosure and cost-benefit analyses, and building up to a multistate agreement that creates strong disincentives for continuing subsidies.
Each year, state and local governments in the United States spend more than $80 billion, or roughly 7 percent of their total budgets, on tax breaks and subsidies to attract investments from auto companies, movie producers, aircraft makers and other industries. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss explore the possiblity of ending such compensation.
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Learn more about CFRís mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »