That said, I think part of the business community’s complaint about Obama has merit. Although there are many “innovation” initiatives ongoing in this administration, they are not well coordinated or a top priority or championed by knowledgeable leadership. This administration is heavily staffed by academics, lawyers and political types. There is no senior person who has run a large company or built and sold globally a new innovative product. And that partly explains why this administration has been mostly interested in pushing taxes, social spending and regulation ”” not pushing trade expansion, competitiveness and new company formation. Innovation and competitiveness don’t seem to float Obama’s boat. He could use a buoyant growth strategy.
What might that include? I asked two of the best people on this subject, Robert Litan, vice president of research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation, which specializes in innovation, and Curtis Carlson, the chief executive of SRI International, the Silicon Valley-based innovation specialists.
Carlson said he would begin by creating a cabinet position exclusively for promoting innovation and competitiveness to ensure that America remains “the world’s new company formation leader.” “Secretary Newco” would be focused on pushing through initiatives ”” including lower corporate taxes for start-ups, reducing costly regulations (like Sarbanes-Oxley reporting for new companies), and expanding tax breaks for research and development to make it cheaper and faster to start new firms. We need to unleash millions of entrepreneurs.