Huntsman unveils jobs plan
August 31st, 2011
05:42 PM ET
3 years ago

Huntsman unveils jobs plan

Hampton, New Hampshire (CNN) – Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman introduced a plan Wednesday to dramatically scale back the scope of the federal government and simplify the tax code, in part by including eliminating deductions and credits.

The former Utah governor said his plan would encourage small business growth and induce American corporations to expand their work forces in the U.S. instead of overseas. The plan also lays out a path forward on energy independence and free trade.

"There is no more urgent priority at this point in our nation's history than creating jobs and strengthening our economic core; everything else revolves around it," Huntsman said, speaking at a podium framed by two hulking metal presses at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, New Hampshire. "My plan may be challenged by the special interests, on the left and the right. But it represents a serious path forward – toward fiscal discipline and economic growth."

Addressing the media after the event, Huntsman was asked about potential blow-back on his plan to eliminate popular tax credits and deductions, such as the home mortgage deduction. The candidate said his plan represented "a going-in position" and would be negotiated by both parties if he were to become president.

"Right now we are polarized. We've got the extremes, and no one kind of moving the agenda forward. A president needs to move the agenda forward and get things done," he said. "What I have laid out today really represents our going-in position. This is what I'd like to see done, but there's the reality of the two-party system, there's the reality of the negotiations going forward. I'd like to stick as closely to this as possible."

The plan would eliminate tax deductions and credits, including the popular home mortgage deduction, in favor of a simplified three-bracket tax rate of eight, 14 or 23 percent. The corporate tax rate would drop from 35 percent to 25 percent.

He would also eliminate the alternative minimum tax as well as taxes on capital gains and dividends.

On the regulatory front, Huntsman would repeal the "$1 trillion bomb" he called "Obamacare," in addition to repealing the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform act and the Sarbanes-Oxley financial reform measure passed during the Bush administration in response to the Enron accounting scandal. He would also streamline the approval processes at the Food and Drug Agency and the Environmental Protection Agency, including for the controversial fracking method of extracting natural gas.

Huntsman also said he would move to block the National Labor Relations Board from prosecuting Boeing over a high profile union case, and "if they fail to do so, I will replace them."

The former governor's jobs announcement comes a week before former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama lay out their plans to tackle unemployment. Huntsman reminded his audience he was the only Republican candidate to stamp his approval on the debt ceiling deal, and faulted Obama for his leadership on the controversy that consumed Washington for three weeks this summer.

"Meeting our challenges will require serious solutions, but above all, it will require serious leadership – a quality in high demand in our nation's capital, and among my opponents on the campaign trail," Huntsman said. "President Obama never even offered a plan of his own, and all of my opponents supported default, even as far as attempting to undermine the deal at the 11th hour. That simply doesn't cut it – especially in these trying times."

Huntsman also pledged to pursue new trade opportunities with Japan, India and Taiwan, and approve pending deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

"We have no choice; we must unite and look beyond politics for solutions," he said. "I believe with a new administration we can do just that."

After his speech, the former ambassador to China was given an opportunity to share a personal story when an audience member asked him about the East-Asian country's one-child policy of restricting birth rates for some families. Huntsman said he hated the policy, and added his 12-year old daughter Gracie Mei was given up for adoption by her parents because of the policy.

Huntsman will discuss his plan Wednesday night on CNN's "John King, USA" at 7 p.m. ET.


Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Jon Huntsman • New Hampshire
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. LegendRx

    Where is it? Anyone . . . the job plan, I can't see it, just talk with numbers no real laid plan of action. Nothing concrete. Blowing in the wind. Next?

    August 31, 2011 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  2. California Conservative

    FACT: Democrats will say all this is a waste of time based on it not being a democrat that had the ideas.

    August 31, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  3. William GIbson

    So, basically the same old, tired GOP playbook with the added bonus of screwing the middle class, seniors and veterans.

    August 31, 2011 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Streamlining of regulations and cutting corporate taxes will fix all our job problems. Gee, we haven't heard that before. Isn't this the same song and dance every single republican candidate is pushing? We need REAL jobs. Not the republican mantra that if ...maybe if we try this it will entice corporations to get off their stockpiles of money to invest in this country. Not going to happen. They make more money overseas. We need a big, american works program. How about we refit all houses and businesses for solar or natural gas generated power as a first step to get off oil. We'll need lots of grids. That will employ lots of people.

    August 31, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  5. GL

    Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman introduced a plan Wednesday to dramatically scale back the scope of the federal government and simplify the tax code, in part by including eliminating deductions and credits.

    He plan is not diffrent then Bush and the tea bagger Rick Perry.

    August 31, 2011 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  6. GL

    Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman introduced a plan Wednesday to dramatically scale back the scope of the federal government and simplify the tax code, in part by including eliminating deductions and credits.

    The former Utah governor said his plan would encourage small business growth and induce American corporations to expand their work forces in the U.S. instead of overseas. The plan also lays out a path forward on energy independence and free trade.

    Same old Bush plan but with a bigger cut to government and more power to corporations. Why do the Repubicans think the American people what to give our hard earned money to big corporation in the name of tax cuts?

    August 31, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    Does this include that company of his that sold Iran chemicals or parts, I forget which, to build weapons? Just wondering.

    August 31, 2011 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  8. GL

    Huntsman's plan would eliminate tax deductions and credits, including the popular home mortgage deduction, in favor of a simplified three-bracket tax rate of eight, 14 or 23 percent. The corporate tax rate would drop from 35 percent to 25 percent.

    So taking more from the middle class homeower to give more to the super rich. He is a clown.

    August 31, 2011 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  9. earl fey

    More of the same. Eliminate capital gains tax and dividend tax?

    How many people do you knpow whos life style depends on capital gains and/ or dividends. Just another tax break for those that don't need it
    .
    Also more uniion buisting

    August 31, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. GL

    He plan when way too far. Let see what other Repubicans can beat his. He covered all the basic.

    August 31, 2011 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  11. vwrtb

    More corporate welfare at the expense of the middle class... I'm Shocked!

    August 31, 2011 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  12. NVA Native

    Oh, goody. Another "plan" that outlines "LOWER TAXES, LESS REGULATION, & CUT SPENDING".
    Americans have had enough of the right-wing smoke and mirrors crap that puts money into corporate coffers while destroying the middle class and small business owners.
    Where are the jobs bills? Anything to actually stimulate the economy?

    August 31, 2011 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. jon

    Yeah, let's elect another Republican president so he can carve us a new one.

    August 31, 2011 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  14. Dan, Tx

    Huntsman is far to reasonable to be selected as the republican nominee. No point in discussing his ideas.

    August 31, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  15. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US!

    He forgot to mention we need an Alternative Minimum Corporate tax. Hey, if it's good enough for the rest of us, it's good enough for "corporations are people too".

    August 31, 2011 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  16. Kaz

    I really like Jon Huntsman, as I believe he has the best interests of this country at heart. Unfortunately no one seems to be listening, because he's not self centered, whiny, belligerent or polarizing enough to catch the attention of most of the American people.

    August 31, 2011 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. Donkey Party

    Same old tired right-winger failed policies.

    August 31, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. TEA PARTY Mike

    Huntsman's tax reform is a good idea but can be improved on.
    If I understand it correctly it is revenue-neutral in terms of total revenue to the government. Many get a tax cut and those making excessive use of tax loop holes to the extent they pay no or very little in taxes get a tax increase. This passes the fairness test.
    But I would actually like to see it done in a way that increases tax revenue and remains fair. Still lower the tax rates, but not as much. Make the results tax neutral to most individuals and business and get those who are making excessive use of tax loop holes pay taxes, a bit more than under Huntsman's plan. This will increase total revenue to the government by increasing taxes on the rich and businesses who are dodging taxes through excessive use of loop holes while having no impact on rest of us. This is also fair and generates a tax revenue increase by only taxing some of the rich more, but does lose the tax cut element in Huntsman plan. I believe this is similar to the 800 billion tax revenue increase Obama and Boehner agreed to at one time. The 800 billion is more than the estimated 700 billion that could be gotten by letting the Bush tax cuts to the rich expire, so the Boehner/Obama tax reform is an improvemnet over that. The Huntsman and Boehner/Obama tax reform plans are both fair and increase taxes on the right people and businesses. One increases revenue and one does not. I vote for the revenue increase.
    I also saw today an interview with Donohue, the head of the US Chamber of Commerce, who said he is sending a letter to Congress and Obama identify 6 things that can grow jobs and not cost the government a lot of money. Some Huntsman mentions above.
    They incuded:
    Drilling for more oil and gas. – Supported by GOP
    Passing the trade agreements that Obama has been talking about. – Supported by both GOP and Dems.
    Expand tourism. – Did not provide details so don't really know what that was about.
    Roll back government regulations. – Supported by GOP
    Infrastructure spending. – Supported by GOP and Dems but at different spending levels. Donhoue indicated support for what Obama said today on infrastructure spending.
    Tax relief for business. – Supported by GOP
    In terms of listening what the real job creators are saying will help create jobs, Republicans could listen a little better on infrastructure. Obama seems to be barely paying any attention at all.

    August 31, 2011 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Eliminate the captial gains tax, and do away with the mortgage deduction. That sucks money from the middle class and gives it to the rich. It means a lot of wealthy people will pay no taxes on the income that they do declare. The middle class has their taxes taken and reported in their paychecks. The war on the middle class continues.

    In case you have not noticed, this bill will mean that the Huntsman and extended family will pay almost no taxes.

    August 31, 2011 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  20. Alex in Wisconsin

    I might not agree with everything ....hardly anything Huntsman put forward but this man is the real deal. He can campaign without using code words designed to make Obama look foreign or alien. He can bring rationality to some of the craziest ideas. If I had alittle less heart and alot more money, Jon Huntsman, the last Republican statesman in the race, would get my vote.

    August 31, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  21. Lost in Texas FOREVER

    too bad he won't be POTUS to try to inact this proposal. Maybe he should allow President Obama to propose some of it so the Republicans can be against it.

    August 31, 2011 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  22. Mah

    Dear Jon Huntsman,
    No thanks.

    August 31, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  23. joe smith

    now, finally, someone has the intestinal fortitude to lay out a plan, a stategy, to resolve this mess..mr. huntsman, and mr paul would be a great team..perhaps with a media less prone to special interests, the cream will rise to the top..and the future leaders of this nation will be recognized for their brilliance, and given the chance to prove themselves worthy of the trust placed in them by the American people..not a biased press..

    August 31, 2011 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  24. Kevin

    Huntsman is the most qualified and able candidate in the republican field. He's a fiscal conservative and is moderate on social issues. There is no one else that fits that description. He's the president America needs to become united again, and start moving in the right direction.

    HUNTSMAN 2012

    August 31, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  25. NavyDem

    The idea that any amount of tax break could cause companies to create jobs here instead of overseas is ridiculous. As long as a worker in another country will work for 1/10th of what a US worker will, the jobs will be created overseas. All the tax break does is increase the debt by decreasing revenue without helping the US economy or unemployment rate a single bit.

    August 31, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
1 2