POLITICS -- September 6, 2011 at 5:46 PM EDT
Romney's Jobs Road Map: Cut Taxes and Decrease Regulation
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney unveiled his jobs plan Tuesday -- a series of 59 ideas he claims will update America's economic plan and allow it move past high unemployment while shrinking government.
Romney, speaking to a crowd in Las Vegas, drew heavily on his experience at the private equity firm Bain Capital and with the Salt Lake City Olympics as evidence that he knew how to improve the employment situation in the United States. His speech came at a time where polls show that the economy and jobs are the most important issues for many Americans, and unemployment remains stuck at 9.1 percent.
"Growing our economy is the way to get people to work," Romney said. "The right answer for America is not to grow government...(but to) create conditions for private sector to create jobs."
Romney said his first actions as president would be to ask for the corporate tax rate to be reduced from 35 percent to 25 percent, to implement pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea and reduce non-security domestic discretionary spending by 5 percent. Romney said he would also review all current federal regulations to see if they harm job growth.
Romney played down his time as governor of Massachusetts and did not attack any of his Republican rivals in the GOP nomination fight, but instead went after President Obama.
Romney likened President Obama's economic policy -- largely defined by a big stimulus package in 2009 and tax cuts at the end of 2010 -- to putting quarters in a disconnected payphone.
"He will be giving a speech...I know what's coming," Romney said, alluding to President Obama's planned joint address to Congress Thursday to unveil a new jobs agenda. Romney said that Mr. Obama's policies are not working.
"It's a payphone strategy in a smart phone world," he said. "He's taking quarters and stuffing them into the payphone...it's not connected anymore Mr. President!" Earlier in his speech, Romney had pointed out that smartphones that allow access to information all over the world are an example of how quickly life has changed from the days of the payphone decades ago.
At least one of Romney's rivals has already responded to Romney's plan. The campaign of frontrunner and Texas Gov. Rick Perry attacked Romney's record in Massachusetts. "As Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney failed to create a pro-jobs environment and failed to institute many of the reforms he now claims to support," Perry spokesman Mark Miner said in a statement. "Among all the candidates for President, Gov. Rick Perry has the strongest record of creating a climate of job creation by limiting taxes, burdensome regulations and the size and scope of government. Gov. Perry's conservative leadership helped Texans create 40 percent of all the net new jobs created in America since June 2009."
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman unveiled his jobs plan last week in New Hampshire, which was similar to Romney's and endorsed by the Wall Street Journal. It calls for eliminating the capital gains tax, eliminating tax loopholes and lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. He also calls for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.