“President George W. Bush said the government must encourage innovation to keep the economy strong as his Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, called for incentives to help spur high-technology investments,” Bloomberg reports.
“Bush, 57, and Kerry, 60, struck the same themes at events at opposite ends of the U.S. in which they highlighted proposals for encouraging development of new technologies and spreading broadband Internet access as a way to add jobs in the future and cut costs for both the government and families,” Bloomberg reports.
“‘Our economy is strong today,’ Bush said after he took part in demonstrations of broadband and wireless technologies at the Commerce Department in Washington. ‘The fundamental question is, What are we going to do to make sure we stay strong?’ At San Jose State University in California, Kerry said the government can help ‘create a business environment that will strengthen the American economy and fuel the creation of high technology jobs,'” Bloomberg reports.
“Surveys by the Pew Research Center, the Gallup Organization and other pollsters show the economy is the top single issue for voters less than five months before the election. U.S. companies have added 1.2 million jobs this year, though the nation still has a net loss of about 1.2 million positions since Bush took office and the economy fell into a recession,” Bloomberg reports. “Bush has set a goal of creating universal, affordable high- speed Internet service in three years and electronic access to medical records. That, Bush said, would cut medical costs and help small businesses. He called on Congress to reinstate a ban on state taxes on Internet access.”
“‘We’ve got to make sure broadband access is affordable,” Bush said. ‘If the goal is to spread broadband it doesn’t make sense to tax it.’ Bush’s budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 would include $2 billion in research funding for the broadband initiative. His overall budget would put federal technology research and development funding at $132 billion, compared with $91 billion in the 2001 fiscal year, according to the White House,” Bloomberg reports.
Full article here.