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. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    I'm not a Romney fan–he may be a "soft" neo-con, but as far as I'm concerned he's still too much into imposing government-defined "morality" on people–but every one of his suggestions is dead on.

    December 3, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. tigerakabj

    Romney, the GOP had their chance over the last 8 years. Do you really think America will trust the GOP again?

    No matter what proposals you lay out, the "fiscal discipline" born-again GOPers will be back to lowering taxes for the rich like they always do.

    Clinton left billions in surplus Romney. What happened to that surplus? We were projected to be debt free by 2009 after he left office.

    Romney, your party stands at about 20% membership. The sane members are leaving in droves, leaving the birthers, teabaggers, religious right, and other Sarah Palin malcontents who WILL NOT vote for you, just as they didn't in 2008.

    December 3, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. Matt

    Everything he suggests was what was happening under BUSH...why should we repeat that disaster?

    December 3, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Whatever mitt.

    December 3, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. TONYINSATX

    Mr Romney, isn't hindsight great? Too bad Obama didn't have that benefit like you do. I mean why didn't you have your plan when you were trying to get the Republican nomination? Oh that's right, you didn't have the benefit of hindsight at that time!

    December 3, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. st louis jake

    Go Mitt!!

    You backed the Bush/Cheney/Rove machine for 8 years without questio. They (and your Republican minions in Congress) created this financial mess – regulation? we don't need no stinkin' regulation.

    You have no moral or ethical ground upon which to stand and criticize Pres. Obama and his effort to right the U.S. financial ship.

    December 3, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. C Spurgeon

    Is he the president or is he just a wannabe.Go away Plastic man...

    December 3, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Cyrus

    Oh Mitt!! Do you want me to send you an Economics 101 book or a public policy book? Did your hairdresser write that up for you? Every single one of them would be an economic disaster either in short-run and/or in the long-run. By the way, weren't these more or less the same policies under Bush? Hmmm...I wonder how that turned out.

    Your 10 point solution to fixing the economy is a massive pile of bovine excrement!

    December 3, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. Ethan

    Nice "plan". De-fund the government, massive corporate welfare, going backwards on climate change, recycled over-politicized GOP talking points. What a total piece of garbage. His whole editorial reads like a wish-list of all the big corporate interests who have ruined our country's economy with Republican help from 2001-2008. He even defends executive compensation in his 10th point! CORPORATE EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION! Gotta be KIDDING me!!! No, i'm sorry, Obama is doing the right thing. This fool here is only interested in one thing: HIS OWN PERSONAL AMBITION. Save it buddy, you're a joke.

    December 3, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. IndyVoter

    " [Romney] feels unlike his predecessors, that Obama has made the recession he inherited worse, not better"

    In what BIZARRO, METH-INDUCED WORLD is Mr Romney living? He and his rich cronies almost drove this country off of a cliff and so now that we are still on the edge of the cliff instead of at the bottom of the cliff in a burning heap, he is criticizing the person whose policies kept us from falling off?

    Too late Romney! Where were your policies before and during all of this economic turmoil? Where were your policies as the President was trying to reach out to Republicans? Oh, but now since it is approaching the time to begin re-running for President, NOW you have a economic plan? PUH-LEEZ! Spare us. It is FAR FAR TOO LATE!

    December 3, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Correction- Obama inherited a near depression, and a number of indicators are now showing signs he took the correct measures. It is good to see Mr. Mittens get in the news and remind us he is still around.

    December 3, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Dan

    How do we know the businesses won't pad the bottom line with the payroll tax cuts? Also the 2001 and 03 tax cuts are the primary reason we went from a surplus in 2000 to a deficit from 2001 to present. You also have to account for the massive spending increases of the Bush Administration... Homeland Security, the IRAQ war...etc..

    December 3, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  13. Robin

    Say what you want about Romney, but the man is brilliant when it comes to economics.

    I do like that first bullet point, release funds to help create private sector jobs. What a concept!

    December 3, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  14. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    Is this like the 10 communist republican principles where you have to follow 8 of the 10?

    December 3, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. raj

    Some good ideas on private sector focused growth. Unfortunately he has also included some political points in his plan....unions, cap & trade.

    We can never get a pure economic plan from a politician.

    December 3, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  16. ARAPIKOS

    Let's see who was the President in office 26 years ago. Surely, he had lots of experience and still was NOT able to keep unemployment down to less that 10%. If I remember correctly, we were in a recessionary economy–just like today–except today it is really worst that then. Maybe Mitt should keep quiet for awhile and let Sarah take a little more heat as she travels around the county selling her autobiography in a private jet.

    December 3, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  17. Dan

    What spending are you going to cut exactly? Defense? Homeland Security? Infastructure? How would business be helped by Semi-trucks falling into potholes?

    December 3, 2009 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  18. Darron R. Brown MD

    Tha albatros of rising unemployment was hung by President Obama's predecessor, as Mr. Romney knows. Unfortunately, Mr. Romney does not have the courage to state this well established fact in his self-serving diatribe.

    December 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  19. Annie, Atlanta

    This guy wants to be President so bad he can taste it. Wait 'till the right wing bigots crawl out of the woodwork because of his faith.

    December 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  20. Robert

    Oh please... so we should only elect business men.. Greedy capitalists who want to interference by government.

    Obama didn't just inherit a recession like other presidents. He inherited a mini-depression, the worst since the great depression, and the timing of the recovery was as his administration predicted.

    Obama has the counsel of the nations best and foremost economists.

    This guy so badly wants to be president. And he's courting the right wing right now..... Easy to just dismiss..

    December 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  21. Fred in Illinois

    "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."

    Yes, yes, and YES! Finally someone is talking with some common sense.

    The Government needs to spend the money it has from revenue and nothing more. We've spiralled out of control with the fact that we just keep adding more currency every time a new entitlement program needs funding. If the Gov't wants Americans to be fiscally responsible then they must be fiscally responsible themselves.

    December 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  22. Rummie

    11) Always wear you magic undies
    12) Always wear your gelmet, it protects from recessions
    13) You have to say enough so Sarah Palin doesn't get all the press
    14) Blow hard when you have no skin in any game, what's Romney in charge of?
    15) Flip flop to win the base
    16) Use $40M of your own money to get beat by an old man and a cop killer releaser in the primaries
    17) Just ask me who will meet me at the pearly gates
    18) Baptize everyone
    19) Try to look like Reagan
    20) Always repeat that the policies that created this mess will fix this mess

    December 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  23. rob

    Specific, sensible, and supported by imperical data. Exactly why the current Dem leaders in Washington won't even consider it. These Dem leaders including the Administration are the most ideologically driven group ever. With the help of the liberal MSM they have abandoned what should have been the first priority when they came into power, the economy and the millions of unemployed. Instead they're pushing an agenda that the majority of American people don't want. Even this so-called "Jobs Summit" didn't invite the precise groups who hire private sector employees and drive our economy, The National Chamber of Commerce to name one.

    Nov. 2010 can't come fast enough.

    December 3, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  24. john

    I agree with most of the plan. We have to create jobs and I am a small business man operating my own shop and would love to expand if I could but can not at this time because of my unceartinty about the free enterprize system as I have always operated under for 41 years. I am a economic major and understand some of the problems. I do feel a lack of watch dogs in the finicial end has caused us a lot of problems because people were were not willing to make dicisions right for the people but worried to much about money and votes so they turned the other way. I am a democrate but disagree with all the federal intervention into the private sector of business.

    December 3, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  25. Robert

    "• 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."

    How about reining in military spending? We spend more than the next 5 powers together. There is no reason we can't cut the defense budget to get ourselves economically secure again.

    December 3, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
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