The 160 page Romney jobs plan unveiled today is a centerpiece for his campaign and a broadside at the president and rival GOP members. The Romney plan has 59 points and calls for immediate action to get people back to work. Romney's timing preempts President Obama's scheduled Thursday speech on the same subject and aims to draw a contrast between himself and Obama.
What's in the Mitt Romney plan?
The plan outlines 59 specific policies Romney would pursue to stimulate job growth. Among the policies are tax policies that he believes will stimulate growth. For individual income taxes, Romney's policies echo traditional GOP thinking. A list of his individual tax policies includes:
- Romney's plan would maintain marginal rates at current levels.
- Romney suggests further reducing taxes on savings and investments.
- He proposes to drop the death tax.
- Under the qualification "Long-term goal," Romney proposes a flatter, fairer and simpler tax structure.
In the same section on taxes, Romney slams Obama for insisting that Americans must "Eat our peas," a reference to raising revenues as a necessity for balancing the budget. Mitt Romney disagrees, stating: "However, the reality is that before President Obama exploded the size of the federal government, our existing tax rates were more or less adequate to pay for the government we needed." He then outlines how his plan could cover costs and stimulate economic growth. The suggestions to cut taxes on savings and investment and to drop the death tax, or estate tax, are bold, given the political climate and Obama's willingness to engage in class-based rhetoric regularly.
Taxation is only one area Romney proposes to change, but the paltry amount of change he proposes, or the unrealistic goals he sets forth, undermine the overall plan's credibility.
How fast would the Romney jobs plan unveiled today help to spur job growth?
The obvious answer is that his plan is useless if he isn't elected. If he is elected, Romney proposes to introduce five bills and enact five executive orders on his first day in office. The bills cover reducing the corporate income tax, domestic energy exploration, free trade, returning training programs to the states and a cut to non-security discretionary spending of five percent. On the last point, Romney calculates that the savings will be $20 billion.
The executive orders would cover repeal of Obamacare, cutting regulations, opening domestic drilling, sanctioning China for unfair trade, and repealing any executive orders by Obama that favor organized labor. The sanctioning of China proposal should offer interesting fodder for multinational businesses, and test the limits of presidential power. On the home front, drilling orders and repealing Obamacare will be massive undertakings.
The Romney jobs plan unveiled today does little to engage progressives and less to stimulate conservatives. If this is the best Romney has to offer, he might be in an uphill battle to sell his ideas. Perhaps he would have been better off sticking to vague comments about the economy. It would save paper.
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