High taxes, harsh regulations, and a broken immigration system are pushing American jobs overseas, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said at a hearing in his home state on Monday.
Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, held a hearing in San Jose that featured testimony from Google and Microsoft executives, among others. The hearing was titled “Policies Affecting High Tech Growth and Federal Adoption of Industry Best Practices,” and Issa argued that federal regulations impede U.S. growth.
“It wasn’t that long ago that the nation’s research, innovation, and high tech industries were unequaled; there was no more attractive country than the United States for technology startup capital,” he said in prepared remarks. “More recently, however, the shine has started to come off the apple, and there seems little doubt that federal policies and regulations have played a large role in hampering growth.”
Issa cited a high corporate tax rate, no permanent R&D tax credit, a dysfunctional immigration system, and the high cost of complying with regulations as issues that are undermining America’s ability to compete.
Federal regulations can “get in the way” of innovation, said Milo Medin, vice president of access services for Google.
“Well-defined and unambiguous regulations can establish clear rules of the road that may be necessary in some cases,” Medin said in his prepared remarks. “However, unclear and ambiguous regulations push companies to invest less or operate less efficiently.”
Medin specifically singled out the Federal Communications Commission for criticism, saying the agency often fails to “to act for months or years – if they even act at all.”
Technology can help streamline the regulatory process and increase public awareness of burdensome rules, Issa said.
“Americans know that their government spends too much on a complex, unmanageable bureaucracy,” he said. “What they don’t know—because much of the raw data about government spending and performance is not accessible to them—is exactly how much waste, fraud, and abuse goes on every day. Information technologies already in use throughout the private sector can make it possible for Americans to track federal spending, regulation, and legislation in ways that currently do not exist at the federal level.”
This article appears in the April 19, 2011, edition of NJ Daily.