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Some tax experts expect a wave of GOP governors to submit budgets that aim to curtail or abolish state income taxes (AP). Nine states already forgo a state income tax and rely on alternative revenues to pay for government services like education and infrastructure. Proponents say the reforms would appeal to both businesses and residents, and could be offset by increased economic activity, while others claim such assertions are fiscally unsound.
Debt and deficits. Read more from leading experts on the challenges in reducing U.S. debt.
Freight Rail to Make Record Investment
Major U.S. freight railroads are set to spend a record $13 billion in 2012 to upgrade the nation’s rail network, according to the Association of American Railroads. The freight rail network, unlike other U.S. transportation infrastructure such as the national highway system, is funded through private capital investment.
Infrastructure. Read more on how upgrading the nation’s aging infrastructure is essential to maintaining U.S. competitiveness.
Education and Human Capital
Skilled Workforce Critical to Long Term Economy
Writing for BusinessWeek, renowned industrial designer James Dyson says long-term U.S. economic success rests on cultivating a highly-skilled domestic workforce, particularly more scientists and engineers. Encouraging creativity and hands-on problem-solving among America's youth, he says, would help inspire the next generation.
Education and human capital. Read more from experts discussing ways to improve U.S. education and immigration policies.
The Real Risks of Entrepreneurship
The Harvard Business Review dispels the myth that entrepreneurship is riskier than more traditional professions such as banking or law, and suggests, perhaps, that the most significant benefit of entrepreneurship "is that people who start or join new companies tend to actually like what they are doing."
A Three-Pronged Tech Boom for U.S. Economy
The United States is poised for three technological breakthroughs, write Mark P. Mills and Julio M. Ottino in the Wall Street Journal, that will help drive a new era of economic growth: "big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution." Policymakers should promote healthy financial markets, prudent tax and immigration policies, and a balanced regulatory regime in order to foster entrepreneurship in this emerging age.
Innovation. Read more on how the U.S. capacity to innovate could play a chief role in economic growth.
International Trade and Investment
Talk of U.S.-Georgia Free-Trade
The White House said it's willing to pursue the "possibility" of a free-trade agreement with the nation of Georgia (Bloomberg) following a meeting between presidents Barack Obama and Mikheil Saakashvili. Trade between the two states was $681 million for 2011, up from $499 million in 2010.
International trade and investment. Read more from leading analysts on the debate over next steps in U.S. trade policy.