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

Romney lays out plan to fix economy

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/16/art.romney0716,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. Eric

    Okay as a hardcore Democrat I may not like some of Romneys views but I would have to agree with his policy ideas. His 10 point plan is exactly what we need to enact immediately.

    December 3, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  2. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Mittens is mighty quick to jump on the grave of the huskster's dead campaign.

    Nice display of "christian" values or are Mormons considered Christians?

    December 3, 2009 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  3. WhoCares?

    So basically...Go back to the same plan that started this whole mess.

    Brilliant!!

    December 3, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  4. Eunice of Memphis

    He will not be elected President in 2012. Keep Hating President Obama
    he is doing a great job.

    December 3, 2009 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  5. Russ

    So in other words, Mitt, do everything you can to continue to line your pockets! Great plan! Why do you think you didn't get the nomination last time? Blame, blame, blame. The only thing Republicants are good at.

    December 3, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  6. gt

    some needs to step up to the ball... ops sorry vp biden ,, some one needs to step up to the plate, who knows something about business....are you better off now or before obama was president,,,,,,

    December 3, 2009 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  7. mark

    Thank future Mr. President. The prudence that you show in your analysis shows your experience in the business sector and Americans can't wait to have you fix our country!

    December 3, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Mike Dallas

    Translation = tax cuts for the rich and state the "socialist" has not practiced "socialism" strongly enough to force private industry to hire people.

    December 3, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. keep to myself

    He is a man. This should have been exptected. No one should be shocked; and the way women are these days, no respect for them selves, it was a sure thing this would happen. He just should have handled it better.

    December 3, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  10. Enough

    Couldn't have said it better myself..........that's exactly what we need to do and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.............Funny that Democrats only understand tax and spend, tax and spend, like a broken record. Obama has proven to be too inexperienced for the job. He delegated the work to Nancy Pelosi and that was the first of his mistakes. He is clueless how to create jobs............since he's never had one or worked for a small business. How can he possibly understand what we need or how we work.

    Let the Liberal loons begin with their usual blah, blah talking points.

    December 3, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Mitt the snit

    Hey Romney.

    If you were that good you would have and could have beat McCain for the 2008 nomination.

    Truth is, you have not got a clue.

    And I my friend, am a Republican telling you that.

    December 3, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  12. Old White Virginia Female

    Typical Republican points: the government's only function is to prop up business. Government has no business providing any services to the American people who contribute the money to run the government, and therefore, the government has no business rectifying the disaster that private insurance companies have created in the American health care system, and goodness knows the government should not be in any involved in encouraging business to invest in something other than lining corporate owners' pockets. This is the Republican mantra of no government oversight, which is wrong, wrong, wrong. I want my government looking over the shoulder of the airline industry and I will never forgive the Republicans for breaking the back of the union and then closing their eyes to how the airline industry spent its money. We have seen over and over it is not on maintenance, and that is because there has been no government oversight. When will the American people ever learn that this approach is a recipe for disaster for the middle class and life as dreamed of by the American people?

    December 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  13. m jeff

    We know the GOP plan, give tax breaks to rich people so they can send more jobs to China.

    December 3, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  14. Marc

    'Don't allow a massive tax increase to go into effect in 2011 with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.'
    NO! NO, NO, NO, NO! A Republican claiming that

    December 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  15. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    so is Romneys idea is ,,everyone give 10% of anything they have to his church and the church will allow you to join. and they will SAVE YOU.... NOT ! lets leave the problem that the president inherited from CHENEY BUSH ROVE ,to the president and his very smart cabinet .. Romney is saying the presidents cabinet doesn't know what they are doing ( ya right ) Mitt is trying to find anything he can to start a crusade for his next bid for the republican party nomination to become president . maybe he can convert Palin and they can run as a team LOL LOL LOL 🙂

    December 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  16. Jim

    I guess better late than never for Romney. Some of these are being done already despite GOP objections such as financial sector regulations.

    The others won't create jobs. Opening trade to Columbia, while not a bad idea won't stimulate job growth. Ending the tax cuts for the wealtiest individuals won't create jobs. Stopping healthcare reform won't create jobs.

    No one wants to hold GM stock, but think of what unemployment would have been if the gov had not stepped in. GM AND its suppliers and dealerships would have gone under, leaving millions more unemployed. Same with the banks. Citi, AIG & BofA employ over 1 million people between them. No one likes bailing these companies out, but think of the alternatives.

    December 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  17. Lyin Hawaiian

    Great Plan.....The problem is not enough free handouts for the liberals

    December 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  18. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    so Romneys idea is ,,everyone give 10% of anything they have to his church and the church will allow you to join. and they will SAVE YOU.... NOT ! lets leave the problem that the president inherited from CHENEY BUSH ROVE ,to the president and his very smart cabinet .. Romney is saying the presidents cabinet doesn't know what they are doing ( ya right ) Mitt is trying to find anything he can to start a crusade for his next bid for the republican party nomination to become president . maybe he can convert Palin and they can run as a team LOL LOL LOL 🙂

    December 3, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  19. Charles

    Funny, I really don't see any proof that Obama made the recession worse. In fact, with the GDP growing again, Romney is grasping at straws, as unemployment comes back after GDP growth, and the GDP has already begun to grow again.

    Romney knows, like anyone, that the economy is on the mend. But he's trying to sell his agenda in the last few months of a year + length recession, with the threat that the Dems will lose seats if Obama 'doesn't change course'.

    Ironically, the Dems will lose seats, but likely maintain the majority, as the jobless rate begins to fall in 2010 or 2011, but it will have nothing to do with Romney.

    December 3, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  20. tess

    it is about time that the adults took over and the ones with life experience and practical solutions lead us out of the mess o'bama and his know-nothing politicos are getting us deeper and deeper into. none of them has a clue to solving our economic problems having done nothing with their lives except run for office and promote themselves. let's dump every last one of the officials who have made their elected office their job!!

    December 3, 2009 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  21. Chuck Anaheim, Ca

    Same old repulican talking points. How about killing NAFTA and takeing china off of the most favoured nation trading status for starts. Bring our jobs home and tax the daylights out of cororations that refuse and offshore American jobs.

    December 3, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  22. K

    You know it gets really tiring to listen to these Republicans play the same old political games, year after year, day after day, hour after hour....It's sickening

    These people in this political party have proved that they are a scurge on America, and the World...

    This country has progressed away from their idealogy, this country is getting more diverse culturally every year, the deck is getting stacked against the all white party that is attempting to purify their idealogy...

    The only advice I can give them is too go move to a Island, and then they can have their all white supremacy nation, but it aint gonna happen here in America, not anymore....!

    December 3, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  23. Marc

    'Don't allow a massive tax increase to go into effect in 2011 with the expiration of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts.'
    NO! NO, NO, NO, NO! A Republican claiming that TAX CUTS will work? I CAN'T BELIEVE IN IT!!!
    Sarcasm aside, Mr. Romney lost a good chance to stay quiet. While some of the points are worth a conversation, he lost it when he defended the inneffective (as in 'innefective to help the American economy as a whole') TAX CUTS and even dared to suggest that they are renewed.

    December 3, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  24. Obama has made the recession he inherited worse

    now mr. Romney,

    is it just a matter of time until one of our decisions made years ago bites you in the butt?

    I hope not. I hope this never happens again and my heart goes out to those families. But listen GOPer, you who pass judgement so quickly on what should have been done, remember what a disaster Bush/Cheney were/are and how Huckebee's decision came to fruition years later after he let a young fella out with a mile long rap sheet.

    How about you quit guessing at how much better a job you would do and concentrate on just making your part of the world a better place. You have nothing better to do than 365 day a year campaigning and constantly shouting 'no'

    how about donate your time at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen rather than just the next photo opportunity

    December 3, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  25. J. Alexander Mitchell

    Perhaps we should put Mitt Romney in charge of the Fed.

    December 3, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
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