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George W. Bush Offers Three Keys to U.S. Business Growth

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 10/18/2015
bush1DENVER -- President George W. Bush opened the 2015 AFP Annual Conference in Denver Sunday afternoon with a discussion on the most important issues of today. Sitting down for a Q&A session with Jim Kaitz, AFP’s president and CEO, President Bush weighed in on a number of topics that directly impact treasury and finance professionals.

Kaitz also asked the former president for his opinions on policies that would drive long-term growth for the U.S. economy moving forward. “First we should be setting a goal of the private sector to grow, and that ought to be the goal of all policy—not the public sector but the private sector,” President Bush said, drawing thunderous applause from an audience of financial professionals. “You can’t deal with balance sheet reform until the private sector does grow. Nor can you deal with wage disparity unless the private sector is growing robustly.”

President Bush recommended that the U.S. analyzes its tax policies to determine whether it’s helping the private sector grow or shrink. He also recommended that regulatory policy should be revisited to determine whether regulations are stifling growth. He also recommended review the trade policy. These policies need to be examined, with the question in mind, “Will this help or hurt private sector growth?”

Treasury and finance professionals certainly have demanding jobs that can keep them up at night. Given the stress that it takes to manage a company’s cash, one can only imagine what it must be like being responsible for an entire country. Kaitz asked the president to describe how it feels working in the Oval Office and having to make so many tough decisions.

 “You multitask to the max,” he said. “It’s a fantastic experience, but it starts with recognizing what you don’t know and finding people who do know what you don’t know, and creating an environment in which they’re willing to express their opinions without fear of reprisal. And it takes a willingness to make the decision to listen to them. The key is to not surround yourself with sycophants, but people who are very capable. It makes the job a lot easier.
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