"We never thought there was going to be a silver bullet to create jobs," said GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt in an interview with Reuters news service. "What we want to offer the president is a very broad set of ideas that can help more he economy forward. It's comprehensive and it's specific."
Immelt also is chairman of the 27-member, non-partisan advisory panel comprised of chief executives from Dupont, Eastman Kodak, Facebook, AOL and GE as well as AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
In the 50-page report, the executives placed these activities high on their "to do" list: improving the country's network of bridges and roads, making airport upgrades and modernizing ports, and updating water/wastewater systems and electric grids.
Some of the other proposals called for:
- Creating a National Investment Initiative made up of numerous proposals aimed at regaining America's place as the premier destination for foreign and domestic investment. The primary goal for the Initiative is to attract one trillion dollars of foreign direct investment over the next four to five years, which would be a 20 to 25 percent increase over recent trends.
- Helping people establish start-up businesses through a variety of initiatives, including lowering corporate taxes for new companies in their first three years, reducing the capital gains rate for investors purchasing equity in nascent firms, and changing student loan repayment rules for grads who own or work for new companies.
- Advocating for moving forward on three energy extraction projects: the drilling of shale gas supplies, the pipeline transporting heavy oil from Canada to Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast, and the resumption of deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. The report noted that these three streams of private investment "could together support or preserve hundreds of thousands of jobs in the next few years."
- Implementing a more speedy processing of immigrant visa decisions. Foreign graduates who earn U.S. degrees in technology, science, engineering and math should get green cards giving them permanent residency. "Delays all too often result in these talented people opting to start or join companies in other countries, where they will compete against American firms," said the report.
- Calling for a new federal financing institution to make sure U.S. energy investments are sufficient for the nation to be a world energy leader.
"If Washington can agree on anything, it should be this -- and it should be now," summed up the authors.
The document does not take a stand on President Obama's $447 billion jobs package.