Seeking an American express route

Improvements in US employment, housing and stocks are still at a crawl. The government, lacking fiscal firepower, must find other ways to boost industry competitiveness.

The US economy grew 2.6 per cent in the fourth quarter -- hardly the 4-5 per cent needed to provide enough jobs and restore housing prices to pre-recession levels.

Throughout 2013, higher taxes on all income classes -- President Obama’s levies on the wealthy, higher local taxes on the middle class, and reinstatement of social security taxes on lower income workers -- depressed consumer spending.

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