John R. Houk
© November 1, 2011
I am definitely not in former Governor Mitt Romney’s camp for the GOP nomination for President. I have to own-up to the primary reason for this is Romney is a Mormon and Mormonism is not Christianity yet pretends to be Christianity. As a Christian I have a problem with that. The secondary problem I have with Romney he appears pretty close to being a RINO. Full-on RINOs make no bones about their Liberal leanings. Then there is RINOs like Romney that is Conservative Republicans in some areas but is politically liberal or socially liberal in others.
On the other hand if Romney does win the GOP nomination I am definitely voting for him over President Barack Hussein Obama. At the very least Romney does not have an agenda to transform America into a socialistic nation dependent on government entitlements to move the economy and secretly enslave the poor by making the Federal government the poor’s source of livelihood.
Romney’s major campaign agenda is his 59 point plan to get America’s economy on track. Just like Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Romney plan has less to do with tax reform and more to do with traditional tax cuts and strategies for jobs growth international trade.
Romney's answer is a 59-point plan, including 10 steps he vows to take his first day as president. "Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs. At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur. All too often, however, government gets in the way. The past three years of unparalleled government expansion have retaught that lesson all too well," he wrote. The candidate didn't go into deep detail about the 59 items on his jobs agenda, but he did offer a shout out to those starting their own companies: "Only the individual initiative of entrepreneurs, workers, investors and inventors enables companies, and our economy as a whole, to flourish." (ELECTIONEERING; By J. Jennings Moss; Portfolio.com, 9-6-11)
With both Cain and Perry now offering dramatic pro-growth tax reform proposals, Romney will either jump on the tax reform bandwagon or be left in the dust (or possibly both).
The only pro-growth tax cuts in Romney’s 59-point economic plan are a reduction in the corporate income tax rate to 25% (from 35% today) and the elimination of the death tax. However, both Perry and Cain are similarly calling for repeal of the death tax. Also, Perry’s plan would cut the corporate income tax rate to 20%, and Cain’s plan would reduce it to the equivalent of 9%.
Romney is advocating eliminating taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains, but only for people making less than $200,000 a year. This “cap” would vitiate any benefit to economic growth. Worse, this element of Romney’s plan implicitly validates Obama’s “class warfare” rhetoric. (Fundamental Tax Reform Is Now Unstoppable; By Louis Woodhill; Forbes, 10/26/2011)
Tomorrow, I will introduce a plan consisting of 59 specific proposals — including 10 concrete actions I will take on my first day in office — to turn around America's economy. Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs. At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur. All too often, however, government gets in the way. The past three years of unparalleled government expansion have retaught that lesson all too well.
Only the individual initiative of entrepreneurs, workers, investors and inventors enables companies, and our economy as a whole, to flourish. We must once again unleash the tremendous economic potential of the American people. The contrast between what the Obama administration has done and what I would do as president could not be starker.
As this catalogue of differences makes clear, our country has arrived at a fork in the road. In one direction lies the heavy hand of the state, indebtedness and decline. In the other direction lies limited government, free enterprise and economic growth. I know which direction is the American way. And I know in which direction lie the millions of jobs we need. (MY PLAN TO TURN AROUND THE U.S. ECONOMY; By Mitt Romney; MittRomney.com, 9-5-11)
Q: A Wall Street Journal editorial recently called your 59-point economic plan "surprisingly timid & tactical considering our economic predicament." Specifically, they had a problem with you picking the $200,000 income threshold for eliminating interest, dividends, and capital gains taxes, writing that you were afraid of "class warfare rhetoric."
ROMNEY: What you have to do is make America the most attractive place in the world for business, and that means our corporate tax rates have to be competitive #2: government and regulators have to be allies of business, not foes.#3: we've got to become energy secure in this country. #4: we have to have trade policies that work for us, and crack down on cheaters like China. And my list goes on in my 59 points. I know there are some that say, look, we should lower taxes for the very highest-income people. My view is very simple: The people that have been hurt most by the Obama economy, has been the middle class. That's why I cut taxes for the middle class.
Q: Do you support the FairTax?
ROMNEY: The idea of a national sales tax or a consumption tax has a lot to go for it. One, it would make us more competitive globally, as we send products around the world, because under the provisions of the World Trade Organization, you can reimburse that to an exporter. We can't reimburse our taxes right now. It also would level the playing field in the country, making sure everybody is paying some part of their fair share. But the way the fair tax has been structured it has a real problem and that is it lowers the burden on the very highest income folks and the very lowest and raises it on middle income people. And the people who have been hurt most by the economy are the middle class. And so my plan is for middle income Americans, no tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. Let people save their money as the way they think is best. We're taxing too much, we're spending too much and middle income Americans need a break and I'll give it to them.
If we want to make more capital available for investment, we will have to lower taxes on saving and investing, either at the corporate or the individual level, or preferably both. A lower corporate tax rate would accomplish all that the myriad special tax breaks do, and improve the incentives for investment and entrepreneurship as well. Personal taxes on dividends, interest, and capital gains for all middle-income families should be completely eliminated.
Some people advocate the "FairTax" as a means of boosting savings, a system that would entirely replace income taxes with a consumption tax--a kind of sales tax. FairTax proponents estimate that a tax rate of 23% would be sufficient, but detractors claim that it would be closer to 40%. The enormous amount saved by the wealthiest under the FairTax would be made up by a higher tax burden on the middle class. This is not an outcome that will or should gain traction with the American public. (Mitt Romney on Tax Reform; Q & A On The Issues)
Five Bills for Day One
The American Competitiveness Act: Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent
The Open Markets Act: Implements the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements
The Domestic Energy Act: Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration
The Retraining Reform Act: Consolidates the sprawl of federal retraining programs and returns funding and responsibility for these programs to the states
The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act: Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, reducing the annual federal budget by $20 billion
Five Executive Orders for Day One
An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare: Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them
An Order to Cut Red Tape: Directs all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy or job creation, and then caps annual increases in regulatory costs at zero dollars
An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production: Directs the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areas
An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices: Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency
An Order to Empower American Businesses and Workers: Reverses the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor, including the one encouraging the use of union labor on major government construction projects
Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth
The book released by the campaign underscores President Obama’s failed approach to each policy area crucial to turning around the economy, and lays out precisely how Mitt Romney will address the issues as president:
Mitt Romney will push for a fundamental redesign of our tax system. He recognizes the need to simplify the system. He also recognizes the need both to lower rates and to broaden the tax base so that taxation becomes an instrument for promoting economic growth. As president, Romney will hold the line on individual income tax rates and eliminate taxes on interest, dividends, and capital gains for low- and middle-income taxpayers. He will eliminate the estate tax. And he will pursue a conservative overhaul that applies lower and flatter rates to a broader tax base.
Romney will also reform the corporate tax system. He will immediately lower the corporate income tax rate, and then explore opportunities to further lower the marginal rate while broadening the tax base. He will also begin the process of transitioning to a territorial corporate tax system. A territorial system must be designed to encourage multinational companies to bring their profits back into the U.S. and it must avoid the creation of incentives for outsourcing. (Excerpted from FACT SHEET: MITT ROMNEY'S PLAN TO TURN AROUND THE ECONOMY; By Mitt Romney; MittRomney.com, 9-6-11)
Like I wrote, I am not voting for Romney in my State Primary but I will probably vote for Romney as the GOP nominee the General Election of November 6, 2012.