Wednesday, September 21, 2011

America's Future: Hard decade or bad century.

September 20, 2011
It becomes clearer every week that our country faces a big choice: We can either have a hard decade or a bad century.

We can either roll up our sleeves and do what’s needed to overcome our post-cold war excesses and adapt to the demands of the 21st century or we can just keep limping into the future.
The three elements that any serious recovery plan must have are: spending cuts, increases in revenues and investments in the sources of our strength.
The Republicans have come nowhere near rising to our three-part challenge because the G.O.P. has been captured by a radical antitax wing, and the party’s leaders are too afraid to challenge it.
We cannot just be about cutting. We also need to be investing in the sources of our greatness: infrastructure, education, immigration and government-funded research. We cannot maintain our vital defense budget without an appropriate tax base.
Countries that don’t invest in the future tend to not do well there.

Thomas Friedman is a NY Times columnist and co-author of  That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” which was published earlier this month.