BOSTON, November 2, 2016 — Speaking today at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, Putnam Investments President and CEO Robert L. Reynolds urged the business community to press the next U.S. President and incoming Congress to launch a range of initiatives to lift the country to greater growth and prosperity.
In his speech, "The Next American Imperative: Rebooting Stronger Economic Growth," Reynolds strongly stated, "Business men, women and associations should step up and insist that the new Administration and Congress act on as broad a growth agenda as possible — because the risks posed by slow growth are too serious not to act.
"I believe that getting America growing strongly again is the most critical issue the next president and Congress need to come to grips with," he emphasized. "Growth is the prime variable — the one ring that rules them all."
In discussing the challenge, Reynolds pointed to the key headwinds that have been dragging growth down for many years — and suggested multiple policy options to push against them. In particular, he cited falling productivity, loss of manufacturing jobs, income stagnation, wealth disparity, slow job creation and the drop-off in new business formation.
A 30-year financial services leader, Reynolds has been a vocal advocate for public policies to spur savings, investments, job creation, and economic growth. For many years, he has taken a lead role in calling for action to build and strengthen the country's retirement savings system.
Reynolds appealed to the broader business community to help focus Washington on practical strategies to help make America grow again. In particular, he proposed:
- Investing in the country's infrastructure — in earnest
- Addressing the "skills gap" between employers who need trained staff and unemployed workers who need training, utilizing significant tax credits
- Increasing science and medical research
- Raising the earned income tax credit
- Dropping capital gains tax on venture and angel capital, as well as on IPOs, to stimulate entrepreneurship
- Importantly, revising the overall U.S. tax code to support expanded employment, savings and investment in America, family formation and child-rearing, education and skill training for students and workers, and the business creation that creates most new jobs and spurs innovation
Even just a one percent increase in GDP growth would have a huge, positive impact on federal revenues, and hence, federal deficits, Reynolds noted. "Economic growth is the single most powerful variable in shaping our future. Let's reach for it — now."
Reynolds concluded on a note of hope and optimism: "I do believe that when Americans come together — we're stronger and I also believe that together, we can — and we will — make America greater than ever."