Barack Obama says we want less debt, lower taxes, more trade

The Pak Banker - - International3 -

WASHINGTON: It seems Washington is all ears these days.

Pres­i­dent Barack Obama says he'll take a great idea to fix the econ­omy any­where he hears it. The Repub­li­can lead­ers in Congress can't say enough how de­ter­mined they are to "lis­ten to the Amer­i­can peo­ple." OK. Here goes. We want less debt, lower taxes, more trade, less trade, "less talk and more walk," a brand new New Deal, a pri­vate sec­tor re­nais­sance, money for trains and roads, eas­ier credit, a clam­p­down on CEO pay, more im­mi­gra­tion, less im­mi­gra­tion, govern­ment off our backs, a safer safety net, cheaper health care, the dis­man­tling of Oba­macare - and how about some en­ergy de­rived from burn­ing al­gae?

Plus a new tone in Washington. All in a New York minute. The As­so­ci­ated Press asked peo­ple across the coun­try to serve up their ideas to set the econ­omy straight, a chal­lenge un­der­scored Fri­day when the job­less rate climbed to 9.8 per­cent, top­ping 9 per­cent for a record 19 straight months. They an­swered in a ca­coph­ony of voices, from the cor­po­rate of­fice to the cafe.

Amer­ica is not just a tea party. It's a cof­fee shop in Texas, too. It's a union hall in New York and it's Sil­i­con Val­ley in Cal­i­for­nia.

In Menlo Park, Calif., ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Marc An­dreessen, an on­line pi­o­neer who co-founded Netscape Com­mu­ni­ca­tions, said the "sin­gle biggest thing we could do to ac­cel­er­ate the econ­omy by far is to in­crease im­mi­gra­tion."

"We have this bizarre para­dox," he says, "where we have the world's best re­search uni­ver­si­ties, we have the smartest peo­ple who come from all over the world to come to study. They end up get­ting de­grees in com­puter sci­ence, elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing and chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing and then we kick them out of the coun­try. It's just ab­so­lutely crazy. "If they were able to stay here to work for other com­pa­nies and start other com­pa­nies, we would have so much more eco­nomic growth. It would be just amaz­ing. What we are do­ing now is just com­pletely self-de­struc­tive."

The U.S. of­fers 65,000 visas a year for for­eign­ers with ad­vanced skills sought by U.S. com­pa­nies, plus 20,000 visas for peo­ple who grad­u­ate from U.S. schools with a mas­ter's or higher in cer­tain fields. Some com­pa­nies com­plain the visas are not granted quickly enough.

If U.S. goes beg­ging for braini­acs, that means plenty of op­por­tu­nity for peo­ple such as Ulises Aranda, 24, of the Dal­las sub­urb of Farm­ers Branch. He grad­u­ated with a mas­ter's in me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing in May and had no short­age of job of­fers. He chose to work for his fa­ther's en­gi­neer­ing con­struc­tion firm. -Ap

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