Presidential candidate Mitt Romney took the stage today at a North Las Vegas truck dealership to unveil his jobs plan, a proposal he says will “update our economy for this century.”
In a rare off-the-cuff speech – Romney boasted a notepad of notes and said in an apparent dig at President Obama that he was not using a teleprompter – he detailed a jobs plan which he says will lower the unemployment rate from the current 9.1 percent to 5.9 percent by the end of his first term as president and create more than 11 million new private sector jobs during the same time period.
“This is a business plan for the American economy,” said Romney. “If we want to create jobs we have to have the best business plan in the world.”
“It’s a practical plan to get America back to work. It’s also immediate,” said Romney of his plan. “This isn’t something that’s going to take years to put into place.”
Dubbed a “bold, sweeping and detailed proposal” which promises a “fundamental turnaround of the American economy,” Romney jobs plan is bound in a 161-page book containing 59 proposals.
Romney says that on the first day in office he will take 10 actions to turn around the economy, including sending a package of five bills to Congress and asking for action within 30 days.
“America should be a job machine,” said Romney.
The package of bills – called the Day One, Job One Initiative - includes a measure to reduce the corporate income tax from 35 percent to 25 percent, a move he says will be one way his plan will induce short-term job growth through incentive hiring.
Second, Romney says he will implement the “stalled” Colombia, Panama and South Korea Free Trade agreements. Third, he will call for a survey of our energy reserves that could in turn promote domestic production of energy and create jobs. And fourth, he will make states responsible for retraining programs. Last, Romney will submit a bill that will cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, a move that will reduce the federal budget by $20 billion.
Also on his first day in office Romney promises to issue five executive orders that will repeal Obamacare, eliminate or repeal any Obama-era regulations that have a negative effect on job creation and economic growth. Executive orders would also be issued to develop a streamlined process to create new oil and gas drilling, sanction China for currency manipulation, and reverse pro-unions orders issued by the Obama administration.
On sanctions against China, Romney said today, “I’ll clamp down on the cheaters, and China is worst example of that.”
“If they cheat there is a price to pay…I don’t want a trade war, but I don’t want a trade surrender either,” he said.
Ordering sanctions on China is the part of the economic plan that campaign advisors say differentiates Romney’s plans from his GOP counterparts.
“This is going to be controversial not everyone is going to like this,” said a campaign advisor. “If we’re going to get serious about having a fair trade relationship with China, we have to be willing to hold them accountable. This administration has been a failure when dealing with China.”
Romney’s plan also hinges on a Middle-Class Tax Savings Plan that would eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest for individuals earning less than $200,000.
“It should be good to be in the middle class in America,” said Romney, garnering cheers from the audience.
Romney advisers say they have no estimate for how much revenue would be lost from the corporate tax cut or middle class cuts. But they suggest some will be made back from a “feedback effect,” lower taxes would mean more productivity which would mean more revenue, he argues. The non-partisan Tax policy Center says a 10 percent drop in the corporate tax rate could lead to a $900 billion dollar loss in revenue over 10 years.
Romney would also work to eliminate the so-called Death Tax, arguing that it could have “catastrophic” effects on small family-owned businesses.
According to the campaign’s initial modeling of the plan, it will achieve an estimated 4 percent year-over-year GDP growth, and will result in a “substantial departure on spending.”
The campaign estimates that the plan will spend $1.4 trillion less than the president proposes over the first four years, and $4 trillion less over eight years.
His jobs speech wasn’t without attacks on President Obama. At one point, after waving his iPhone at the audience, Romney said, “President Obama’s strategy is a pay phone strategy and we’re in a smart phone world.”