Decius's response: The US IT industry cannot employ the people domestically that it has available to it today, and it has no plans to employ more people domestically in the future. That is the reason that it is beginning to fall under political pressure. Their response is to pretend that this problem does not exist by quoting statistics developed during the dotcom boom, and then, with a straight face, request assistance with moving money across international borders, assistance with R&D expenses, and the training of EVEN MORE engineers ("We can't use the resources we have, so please give us more resources.").
This country does not produce as many Engineers as China because Engineering bears a stigma in this country of being an undesirable profession. Numbers increased in recent years because that perception began to change, but its going right back down again. This is because the IT industry has failed to make a compelling case that people should WANT to be Engineers. If they wish to see the US produce more and better engineers, they need to sell teenagers on the idea that being an Engineer is worth all the work. They need to demonstrate to people that there are real opportunities.
How many of those 61,000 Engineering graduates from the class of 1999 do you know who have been underemployed or unemployed in the last 3 years? What kind of message is that sending to people who are considering following in their footsteps? If the IT industry really wanted more Engineers domestically they would be addressing that concern directly instead of getting up in front of Congress and asking for lower taxes. The fact that they chose the later option further contributes to the idea that this is all a big crock. It should surprise none of you that this is the same industry group that cuts deals with the RIAA to sell DRM into your house.
This sort of complete leadership vacuum does not bode well. Leadership vacuums get filled, inevitably. Sometimes by dangerous people.
Choose to Compete - What the IT industry told Congress today