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. Bill from GA

    It's great that all the losers from the last election are now telling how to run the government. What's next, Huckabee wanting to empty the prisons to save money (and show his Christian compassion)?

    The mess we are in took a long time to build, with unrestricted greed, poor government decisions (extreme tax cuts for the rich and an unnecessary war, just to mention two), with the gutless Democrats idly watching.

    I blame the media for a lot of our problems; they would rather air a controversy anytime over an improvement. Of course, they wouldn't succeed if we weren't already brain-dead as a nation.

    December 3, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  2. John, Brooklyn, NY

    Romney is such a typical Republian politician....

    He is a very bright man and a business leader and, as such, he KNOWS that employment is a lagging factor in an economic recovery. The recovery begins in business investment which, in turns, delivers jobs.

    The stock market has rebounded approximately 60% in the past 12 months under the Obama recovery plan. That is a clear sign that the initial stages of a recovery are not only visible...but they are robust.

    If Romney wants to talk about jobs...he needs to focus his attention on securing income and basic living services for people who are currently out of work and who won't be re-employed until the employment cycle catches up with the investment cycle.

    What a snake oil salesman!

    December 3, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    If Rommny read the news on a regular basis, he would know that the economy is improving slowly but surely That has to be bad news for him and you can be sure he will make the most of it.

    BTW: How come no one ever mentions what John McCain would do had he been elected? Or better yet what a PRESIDENT Rommny would do. Both are very good at critisizing but not so hot on solutions.

    December 3, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Amazing

    Obama isn't going to listen to common sense. Obama only understands taxation. If he understood how the wheel goes round, he would know we need to get back to work, with more people working that creates more tax payers and more money for him to spend on entitlement programs for those who want to sit on the couch, watch tv, have babies and do drugs.....or enter our country illegally. But hey, if we can't work, we can't support his Democratic base on their couches.

    December 3, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. tjaman

    Mr. Romney, you couldn't even get most of your own party to endorse your candidacy for the presidency. This armchair quarterbacking doesn't even have the backing of most of your own hugely diminished party.

    Add to that, there are many reasons the GOP is out of power. Its demonstrably catastrophically failed fiscal priorities are a huge part of that.

    December 3, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. TCM

    Wow...how could a highly successful businessman, a proven leader, a sound decision maker....ever think he's more experienced and competent to lead the nation than a street activist, community organizing...propped up by corruption, ACORN, and Affirmative Action...not to mention a questionable country of birth, and known terrorists associates...inexperienced, less than a year, senator?

    The Audacity!

    December 3, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  7. kincas

    This is a joke...

    December 3, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. Richp the Poconos

    I hope one of those points is to repopulate both houses with some people that have common sense and will work for the country instead of a career in government and have done more than be a community organizer.

    December 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  9. Casey

    Give Obama some time to repair economy. He signed the stimulus packet in February. He only has been in the office for twelve months. George Bush could have done something about economy in eight years, but he did not do that.

    December 3, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  10. Kobie

    Can someone please tell me how the stimulus has made the economy worse? How is it that investing in America's infrastructure cost people jobs. I know at least 7 teachers as well as 2 police officers who were able to keep their jobs due to Stimulus funds. Republicans have made it a talking point to say that The Recovery Act has made the economy worse. Please be specific if you don't want me questioning your credibility. Making ambiguous statements only makes you look foolish. Could you imagine a Republican administration in office. If you think things are bad now, they could have been significantly worse. Stop playing politics at the expense of the American people. People need to believe government is helping, which data shows that the stimulus and bailout essential in stopping the economic free fall. You have no chance at the Presidency Mitt, might as well stop trying to bash the President.

    December 3, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  11. wow

    Just as I thought, more of the same. Tax cuts for the wealthy ( like Romney and his friends), open doors to trade ( send more jobs overseas) and spending cuts on everything except the military of course. Nothing to help the middle class, just the top 1%.

    Romney really needs to just give it up. He is such a joke. His experience in business amounts to buying up companies, sending the jobs overseas and laying off American workers, all the while making a profit for himself. How else was he able to spend $45 million dollars of his own money to try to win the nomination in 2008. His business acumen should have told him that was a bad investment

    December 3, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. nicholas

    Romney need to shut up..........why did he not give Bush these points last year. no matter what Obama does he will be criticized by these bozos. Obama is doing his best....remember he told the nation that the problems would not get fixed in a short time

    December 3, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. diridi

    just do not beleive any more...

    December 3, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. JA/TN

    was he elected president

    December 3, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Sean

    One more Republican who would use tax reduction to win the election. Americans need to help pay for the deficits. That's life. We voted for Ronald Reagan, and George Bush Jr., while George Bush Sr. and Bill Clinton tried to correct the deficits, yet we didn't care. Americans must all help to pay for the deficits, and slow down spending until this is corrected. More tax reduction is not the solution.

    December 3, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Independent Thinker

    What do you know?

    Someone with experience in the real world has offered a real plan.

    All those narrow thinkers who will criticize the man should put their brains toward some real analysis rather than just throwing out ideas because of their emotional attachments (often unfounded) toward their political bias. As usual, they will throw out nasty comments about Mr. Romney instead of paying attention to a real plan.

    There's no denying that there is over 10% unemployment and that a good speech from the President will not fix it.

    December 3, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  17. Anonymous

    This is nothing more than the same old GOP rhetoric we've been subjected to for over a year. His plan: cut taxes, keep the Bush tax cuts for the rich, NO to unions, NO to health care, NO to energy independence unless it's nuclear or gas, NO to spending unless it's on the military. As far as 'dynamic regulations' that aren't excessively burdensome, that sounds like a fantasy that's good for the banks but not so good for Joe the Average Investor.
    Mitt: Please let us know when you have something new to say.

    December 3, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  18. FM

    All this is a "show-off" that he knows something. First bashing and giving advice!!!
    Why didn't he pass on this advice to his fellow republican George Bush! Get out of the kitchen Mitt and let people do their own cooking.

    December 3, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  19. tom

    more trickle down non-sense that only helps the fat cats,

    December 3, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. TONYINSATX

    Romney is an IDIOT!! Obama did NOT inherit a run of the mill recession. He inherited the WORST one since the Great Depression! Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. Obama is doing the best that he can with idiots like this regurgating misinfo. If Romney is so great why didn't he get the Republican nomination? He and all of the other "conservatives" need to sit down, shut up and let the man work! Where was Romney and all the other when all of this crap started years ago? NO WHERE!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 3, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  21. Nick , California

    Same old crap! Less taxes.. Less Gov't.. Less oversight.. Blame everybody but ourselves... and we end up exactly where we are now! Until this country and all the big corporations promote fiscal responsibility (which it will never do because we are a consumer nation) I don't think we will pull out of this mess any time soon!

    December 3, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  22. Matt

    All romney has ever done is help send jobs overseas and pocket the extra cash as a vulture capitalist...

    December 3, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  23. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Always good to see anti union people come up with a plan to help American workers. These are the same people who wanted to see the auto industry fail, which would cost millions of jobs.

    December 3, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Terry from West Texas

    Translation: Give stimulus money directly to corporations; we can trust them to do the right thing. Cut taxes on corporations. Cut taxes on the wealthy. Reduce government spending. Reduce union membership. Do not protect American jobs; import more cheap foreign goods. Impose "dynamic" regulations on the financial sector (I think that "dynamic" means "weak"). Allow CEOs their gigantic bonuses as a reward for "increasing productivity" (laying off employees).

    We've heard all this before. We heard it from Reagan (who doubled the national debt.) We heard it from Bush (the good one) who added another trillion. We heard it from Bush (the other one) who added another 6 trillion.

    Same crap, different Conservative.

    December 3, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  25. Some Democrat Guy

    Romney is a republican, therefore his plan won't work. Besides, it won't give me free healthcare, free housing, free food, free big-screen TV, free cell phones, free cars, or free gas. How do you expect me to pay for all of the things I need? Get a job? NO WAY. Tax the rich to give me my stuff. Have a nice day!

    December 3, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
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