December 3rd, 2009
10:26 AM ET
9 years ago

Romney lays out plan to fix economy

[cnn-photo-caption image=,gi.jpg caption="Romney lays out his plan to fix the economy in an op-ed Thursday.'"]
Washington (CNN) - Mitt Romney says that like other presidents, Barack Obama inherited a recession. But the former Massachusetts governor feels unlike his predecessors, Obama has made the recession he inherited worse, not better.

In an op-ed in Wednesday's USA Today, Romney says what he calls the president's inability to "stem" the rise in unemployment should not be a surpise.

"With no experience whatsoever in the world of employment and business formation, he had no compass to guide his path. Instead, he turned over much of his economic recovery agenda to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, themselves nearly as inexperienced in the private sector as he," says Romney.

The op-ed's release comes hours before the president holds a jobs forum at the White House. The nation's unemployment rate stands at 10.2 percent, the highest level in 26 years. November's job report will be released Friday.

In the article, Romney, a Republican presidential candidate in the 2008 election and a possible contender for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, lays out advice he terms a ten point plan to help reenergize the economy.

See Romney's "10-point plan" after the jump.

My 10-point plan

The president's economists insist that technically, the recession is over. But double-digit unemployment was neither prevented nor has it ended. To get people back to work as rapidly as possible and to restore America's economic vitality, the nation must change course. Here's the advice I would give:

• Repair the stimulus. Freeze the funds that haven't yet been spent and redirect them to immediate, private sector job-creation priorities.

• Create tax incentives that promote business expansion and hiring. For example, install a robust investment tax credit, permit businesses to expense capital purchases made in 2010, and reduce payroll taxes. These will reignite construction, technology and a wide array of capital goods industries, and lead to expanded employment.

• Prove to the global investors that finance America's debt that we are serious about reining in spending and becoming fiscally prudent by adopting limits on non-military discretionary spending and reforming our unsustainable, unfunded entitlements. These are key to strengthening the dollar, reducing the threat of rampant inflation and holding down interest rates.

• Close down any talk of carbon cap-and-trade. It will burden consumers and employers with billions in new costs. Instead, greatly expand our commitment to natural gas and nuclear, boosting jobs now and reducing the export of energy jobs and dollars later.

• Tell the unions that job-stifling "card check" legislation is off the table. Laying new burdens on small business will kill entrepreneurship and job creation.

• Don't allow a massive tax increase to go into effect in 2011 with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. The specter of more tax-fueled government spending and the reduction of capital available for small business will hinder investment and business expansion.

• New spending should be strictly limited to items that are critically needed and that we would have acquired in the future, such as new military equipment to support our troops abroad and essential infrastructure at home.

• Install dynamic regulations for the financial sector — rules that are up to date, efficient and not excessively burdensome. But do not so tie up the financial sector with red tape that we lose a vital component of our economic system.

• Open the doors to trade. Give important friends like Colombia favored trade status rather than bow to protectionist demands. Now is the time for aggressive pursuit of opportunities for new markets for American goods, not insular retrenchment.

• Stop frightening the private sector by continuing to hold GM stock, by imposing tighter and tighter controls on compensation, and by pursuing a public insurance plan to compete with private insurers. Government encroachment on free enterprise is depressing investment and job creation.

The 10% unemployment crisis hangs like an albatross around President Obama's neck. Eventually, as with every recession and recovery, the economy will improve and jobs will be created, but those who were unnecessarily unemployed due to the president's faulty economic program will not forget. In order to most rapidly re-employ all Americans and to speed a strong recovery, the president must change course. If he does not, Republicans will bring a change of their own to Washington in the 2010 elections.

UPDATE: In a statement, the Democratic National Committee scoffed at Romney's ideas and claimed that Republicans have refused to offer their own plans to fix the economy.

"Now, instead of acknowledging, as leading economists and the independent CBO have, that the President's Recovery Act rescued this country's economy from the brink of disaster and has already saved or created 1.6 million jobs, Republican leaders like Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor are now offering 'plans' that are nothing more than a laundry list of the failed Bush-era economic policies that nearly destroyed our economy in the first place," said DNC national press secretary Hari Sevugan. "Mitt Romney's allegiance to Bush economics is one policy position he'd do well to flip-flop on."

Filed under: Economy • Mitt Romney • Popular Posts
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. southerncousin

    Romney has the political and the private sector experience, but please note is not an Obama syncophant, so he was not invited to the Jobs Summit. It will be another Obama lovefest, with nothing accomplished.

    December 3, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  2. AnProf

    Long- term, sustained economic growth does not come from government spending. Romney is correct; American economic health stems from the private sector creating wealth and opportunity.

    December 3, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Minnesotan

    Romney always makes me laugh. He says things almost as stupid as Palin or Bachmann. I'd never vote for him, but I think his hair could do really well on "Dancing with the Stars."

    December 3, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. Jon from Madison

    Way to go Romney!!!!!. When will this country learn that the government isn't spending their own money to "help" us, but they are spending our money. Too bad most of the democrats don't pay their taxes, so they don't know what it is like to have some government idiots waste it. To countries like China, who hold a large amount of American debt, we are showing them that they we have no fiscal control and that they will have a good chance at owning us soon. How is that hope and change working for everybody. For all you idiots who still proudly display your Obama bumper stickers: Thanks for bankrupting our nation.

    December 3, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  5. Chrynoble

    Lower taxes, deregulate every greedy wall street crook, don't spend money on helping people, only on killing people.

    Isn't this what we did for 8+ years that screwed us in the first place?

    We can do better than fall back to this failed mantra of greed and excess, where only the rich get richer and the rest of the country is left to suffer with lower wages, more toxins in our environment and no way to protect our interests with either unions or regulators.

    These 10 points have been tried, they have been measured, they have come up short.

    December 3, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  6. vwrtb

    Sounds like trickle down to me... We have given tax break after tax break to business but it has produced NOTHING in terms of job creation... Greed! Greed! Greed! Greed!

    December 3, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  7. Kevin

    How can he say that I was "unnecessarily unemployed due to the president's faulty economic program will not forget?"

    Sure, we won't forget that a president created this mess... President Bush and the Republicans with their spend, spend, spend and cut taxes policies. I don't blame Obama. I will in two years, but not yet. This mess started 8 years ago with tax cuts for the wealthy and the folly know as the Iraq invasion.

    Don't worry Mr. Romney, I won't forget and I won't let those around me forget. I'll hold Mr. Obama accountable for his follies, should he make them, but I'm not so stupid to be blind to the root causes.

    December 3, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  8. REG in AZ

    Talk about placating and pacifying Special Interests and a select few. What Romney proposes is just more of the same that got us to were we are. The Republicans have to get serious about being interested in doing what is right for the people instead of just being 'puppets' for those who strongly support them.

    December 3, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. chris24

    Anything to get a vote, Mitt.

    You will never be president, why not
    go back to the "private sector" yourself?

    December 3, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Ben in Texas

    Oh, we've heard this one for years: Businessmen are the folks who should be running government. Gotta have bid'ness experience. Like George W. Bush, that great bid'ness man from my home state, or those slick Wall Street guys who gave us the recent economic meltdown. Sounds like a great idea.

    Well, government is not a business, and neither should it be. Government doesn't function to make money. It is there to protect the population, protect the economy, and ensure our constitutional rights. What kind of experience does Mitt have in doing that? What sort of military experience does he have? How well does he understand the Constitution? What has he ever sacrificed for his country? How well does he understand what the poor go through to survive? When was the last time he was oppressed, hungry, or broke? That's the kind of experience that might better inform him as a president.

    December 3, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Joe the Plumber

    mitt romney, you are an idiot.

    December 3, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  12. Ross, Chautauqua, NY

    Mitt knows all about jobs–he made his millions by helping to purchase companies, gut them, terminate employees and then sell them at a profit! He has the same old failed Republican ideas from the the 1930s–tax breaks for millionaires who don't need them and no regulations for business–the same stuff that got us into the recession we're in now!

    December 3, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Monrob

    As if the Barbie Doll could have done better?

    You can tell this guy is a piece of work.

    December 3, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  14. Independant voter

    Isn't it funny that he seems to think that giving money to the businesses who created this mess will solve it? Isn't there a word for that? Oh yeah, it's called extortion

    December 3, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. Ivan

    One way to help the economy is have his 5 sons volunteer for military service, that would open up jobs for 5 unemployed people to fill.

    December 3, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  16. Video Guy

    Could somebody please tell Mitt his 15 Mins are up.

    December 3, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  17. Pee Wee

    This would be a prime opportunity for the administration to actually listen to someone with a different political view. Romney has a pretty good track record (other than that mandatory insurance fiasco in Massachusetts) and has ideas that definitely should be considered.

    The fear of upstart (and existing) businesses of new and unknown taxes and expenses is stifling expansion.

    He certainly has a point on new nuclear power plants. NO green-house emissions and we could learn from the French about efficient disposal techniques.

    December 3, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  18. patNY

    But, this is not what Reagan did when he inherited his economic crisis...he raised taxes and engaged in crazy deficit laden spending!

    December 3, 2009 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Fenarkleman

    Thanks, Guy Smiley. Your plan is as genuine as the orange tan that you have. Great. Thanks for fixing our economy. Now on to those pesky "lib'rals."

    December 3, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  20. stevetall

    Romney=Clown. As if this guy knows anything about employing people and making money. I believe it was his relationship with his daddy that got the silver spoon in Baby Mitt's mouth.

    December 3, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  21. D

    In other words, give more tax breaks to the same group of people that have gotten them over and over, and have YET to create jobs. And no more regulation so Wall Street can continue to rob us blind...Just more of the same garbage that got us in this mess to start with. No thank you.

    December 3, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6