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. GK

    his ideas are as stupid as if it was spoke by sarah palin. not giving any specific but laying out all the things that have been broken in our system for ages. you want to teach an old monkey a new trick you have to have patience else dont say economy have to be turned around with in a year. recession has ended. job creation will happen gradually.

    December 3, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Gerry Hildreth

    Our country will continue to suffer economically, militarily, environmentally, because so many fools elected a totally inexperienced man for the white house. Experience counts, folks, and Obama ain't got none. He should stick to teaching college kids who will believe anything.

    December 3, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  3. Mike in MN

    Romney's 10 point list makes a lot of sense. I'm sure little if any will wind up in Obama's eventual proposal. Obama's proposal is sure to be based entirely on goverment growth and government spending.

    December 3, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  4. montag24

    Nothing new here. This is the same Republican claptrap we've been hearing for decades. Do everything to perpetuate the military-industrial complex and screw the working class.

    December 3, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  5. franco

    Finally, a business-savvy leader who has made a payroll steps up to take the lead. Harvard academics and others in this administration, with no real life experience, take heed and follow the advice of Gov Romney. Romney 2012!!

    December 3, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  6. Robert

    " 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."

    God, this just gets better and better... So letting the restoration of the original tax rates that gave us huge budget surpluses under Clinton is now a massive tax increase?

    It is simply the restoration of the original rate that should never have been cut. Had it not been cut we wouldn't have had a trillion dollar deficit when Obama took office.

    Don't listen to these Republic ans. They have no place to lecture any of us on what needs to be done.

    December 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  7. Brian

    republican Romney is just looking silly now. Can the GOP look anymore foolish?????????

    December 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  8. adam

    seems like alot of his ideas are ideas that Obama has already inacted like tax cuts to payroll taxes and small buisnesses, inferstructure inprovment, financial regulatory reform, etc. His other ideas are more in-line with the status quo of the Bush years.

    December 3, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  9. linda

    Hey Romney, kick-backs from the olympics? Worst governor in the history of the State of Massachusetts.

    You have no room, let along experience, to talk – our new President is doing a great job, HE WON, you LOST.

    George W Bush and his Republican companions destoryed our country's economy, standing in the world, and bled our nation's
    treasury because of two unnecessary wars that are dragging on
    still. BUSH = NO EXPERIENCE. BUSH = idiot wingnut just
    like Romney.

    Congratulations President Obama – you are doing a great job!

    December 3, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  10. A True Centrist

    Say what you want about his social views but this man knows business. He's the only governor in MA history to balance the state budget for four years. Of course, it meant a lot of cuts to a lot of programs but he made the tough decisions, stood by them and it kept the state afloat. Now we have a far left governor who spends and spends, leading us to an enormous budget deficit.

    I'm not saying I'd vote for him as's a decision I would have to make down the road if he were to run again. However, I know he'd be a great consultant to any administration, including the current one.

    December 3, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  11. mime

    sounds like that will help only big business as a small business owner you could drop my taxes to zero and i could not hire anyone because the average person that i sell to is not spending money i own a travel agency thats been in business for 25 years and will close my door next year the republican plan is keep the money at the top

    December 3, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  12. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    Hmmm..... tax cuts, cuts to entitlement programs, deregulation, "free trade".... This all sounds so familiar. Have a nice day!

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

    Pshaw...What would he know. He just ran a successful company, was the executive of a state, and has run for President. What would he know about job creation? Oh wait, infinitely more than the people who have been appointed to cabinet or czar positions. THose people OVERWHELMINGLY have experience raising taxes and stiffling job creation, as their only experience has been in government.

    December 3, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. phyllis

    All of the republicans, have a plan until they get into the White House, and then it all goes south.

    Mr. Romney needs to just keep his ideas to him self, all of the tea baggers need to go form another country, and get out of this one.

    Thank you.

    December 3, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  15. Sniffit

    I think he probably uses rubber cement to do his's the fumes addling his neocon brain. Better get all those talking points out there quick though GOPers...headlines like "Jobless claims slide to near 15-month low" a couple articles down aren't going to help you continue the smear campaign.

    December 3, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  16. ThinkAgain

    Romney is just sucking up to the same old ignorant and naive crowd that thinks the answer to everything is to give more money to the wealthy.

    It's also completely false that President Obama, "turned over much of his economic recovery agenda to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid."

    If I were a Republican, I would be completely insulted by how stupid my party leaders think I am.

    And insulted by the fact that all they can offer is the same tried-and-failed policies, fear-mongering and division.

    What a bunch of losers!!!!

    December 3, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  17. Former Republican

    Romney puts out this nonsense days after the CBO actually reported how recovery efforts earlier this year created/saved up to 1.6 million jobs.

    Although we still have a ways to go, unemployment claims fortunately FELL last week to a 15-month low from first-time filers. Perhaps Romney missed that report, too...

    December 3, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  18. Robert

    I agree with Mitt! BO has NO experience and Romney would be a much better president!

    December 3, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Patriot

    Same old Republican story...they just don't get it...this is the same plan that ruined our economy over the past 8 years.

    December 3, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. gord ontario

    what mitt is saying is give more tax breaks to the rich and trickle down will work did not give it time in 1980 , i wonder how many jobs his company help set up oveseas in the last year

    December 3, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  21. ThinkAgain

    Notice how none of the Republicans refer to our president as "President Obama?"

    It's always "Obama" or "Barack Obama."

    The Republicans are a bunch of whiny, immature, inconsiderate jerks – and every time they open their mouths, they prove it again.

    Their lack of respect for the office of the President is astounding!

    What a bunch of self-righteous, arrogant hypocrites!

    And what a horrible example they are to the children of our country – if you don't get what you want or if you lose, just be a big cry baby.


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

    Did Mr. Mittens say install regulations for the financial sector? There goes the republican vote, but he still has the anti union base.

    December 3, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  23. Florida Joe

    Just ask Massachucetts about Romney.....He is a disaster............

    December 3, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  24. Incredulous

    The best way to fix and keep the economy from tanking again is not to elect any more spend, spend, spend Republicans to the House or Senate.

    From 1994 to 2006 these Republicans have been so concerned about their social agenda that they have forgotten their fiscally conservative roots.

    It's time they prioritize – what comes first? Fiscal responsibility or social conservatism? At this point in the Nation's history, they can't do both.

    December 3, 2009 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  25. Why Romney

    LOL, why Romney didn't make it to the Republican National Convention as the Republican Candidate?

    December 3, 2009 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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