Cut or Invest: What's the Best Way to Grow Our Economy?

February 7, 2011

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama called for increasing federal investments in innovation as a way to accelerate economic growth and thus reduce the federal deficit. Federal government investments, he said, were critical to the creation of computer microchips, GPS, and other technologies. But conservatives say this is the wrong approach. We must cut government spending, not increase it, in order to reduce the deficit and free up private capital to innovate. The government shouldn't pick tech winners and losers—they’ll only make things worse. Who's right?

Watch two leading advocates of increased federal investment in innovation face off against two leading opponents. On the "pro" side is Rob Atkinson, President of ITIF and Fred Block, Senior Fellow, Breakthrough Institute, and author of the new book, State of Innovation. On the "con" side is Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute and David Kreutzer of the Heritage Foundation. The debate is moderated by Jim Tankersley, Economics Correspondent, National Journal.