Mitt Romney's Book Sets Stage for 2012 White House Run

When it comes to the Wall Street bailout which is loathed by many Tea Party activists, Romney defends Hank Paulson and credits President Bush's former Treasury Secretary with saving the US financial system. Romney then goes on to criticizes Tim Geithner, President Obama's Treasury secretary, for the way in which he has administered the Toxic Asset Relief Program.

Even though conservatives have long favored allowing workers to divert part of their Social Secuirty taxes to a personal account, Romney indicates that he would like to see personal accounts added onto the existing program rather than carved out of it. In particular, he proposes financing the add-on accounts with a 1 percent tax on wages. Workers would then have the ability to opt-out.

When it comes to health care reform, Romney curries favor with conservatives by pointing out that the universal health-care plan he championed in Massachusetts deviated from Obama's proposal in that it did not include a public option. At the same time, Romney defends the idea of states, like Massachusetts, requiring individuals to purchase coverage even though some conservatives view such a mandate as an assault on individual liberty.

The "Fair Tax," a proposal to replace all federal taxes with a 23 percent tax on consumption plus an annual prebate, is popular among some conservative activists. In 2008, the proposal helped power former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee to his win over Romney in the Iowa Republican caucuses.

Romney explains in his book, however, that he opposes the Fair Tax because it might be evaded and he fears it would lead to a big reduction in taxes on the super rich like Bill Gates and higher taxes on the middle class.

Instead, Romney favors a series of more incremental tax changes including the elimination of personal taxes on dividends, interest, and capital gains for middle-income families.

Romney does not call for big non-defense spending programs in his book. He does, however, support increased spending on teacher salaries, R&D, and moving people from welfare to work.

On social issues, Romney is most passionate about reducing the number of out-of-wedlock births. The key, he believes, is not the availability of contraception. Instead, Romney believes young people must be taught about the consequences of their actions.

When it comes to abortion, Romney makes reference to there being a debate on the issue without ever acknowledging that his stance has shifted from supporting abortion rights when he was seeking office in liberal Massachusetts to opposing abortion rights when he was preparing to run for president in 2008. Instead, he simply writes that because there are two lives, not one, involved in an abortion, he is "unapologetically pro-life."

On the issue of same-sex marriage, Romney suggests that opposition to it stems not from an "antigay" worldview but from a belief that a mother and a father are "critical for the well-being of our children."

For all of the various proposals contained in the book, Romney does not directly discuss the possibility of running for president again in 2012. He also avoids making reference to Palin or any potential Republican rival.

Palin, however, has not avoided talking about Romney.

During a recent interview on Sarah Palin radio, the former Alaska governor rejected the suggestion from conservative talk-show host Glenn Beck that it was Romney's "turn" in 2012. "Well, I don't think it's anybody's turn ever," said Palin.

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