I’m planning to watch the NBC/Politico Republican candidates’ debate tonight.
Most pundits say that despite the fact that there will be eight candidates on stage (Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum), it’s really a two-way race between Perry and Romney.
Romney set the stage yesterday by announcing his own jobs plan, in anticipation of tonight’s debate and Obama’s plan to be announced tomorrow:
On his first day in office, Romney will submit a jobs package to Congress consisting of at least five major proposals and will demand that Congress act on the package within 30 days, using every power at his disposal to ensure its passage. He will also take immediate and specific steps within his sole authority as president by issuing a series of executive orders that gets the U.S. government out of the economy’s way. The goal: restore America to the path of robust economic growth necessary to create jobs.
Here are the five major proposals:
- The American Competitiveness Act – Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent
- The Open Markets Act – Implements the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements
- The Domestic Energy Act – Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration
- The Retraining Reform Act – Consolidates the sprawl of federal retraining programs and returns funding and responsibility for these programs to the states
- The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act – Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, reducing the annual federal budget by $20 billion
Here is the series of executive orders:
- An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare – Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them
- An Order to Cut Red Tape – Directs all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy or job creation, and then caps annual increases in regulatory costs at zero dollars
- An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production – Directs the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areas
- An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices – Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency
- An Order to Empower American Businesses and Workers – Reverses the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor, including the one encouraging the use of union labor on major government construction projects
If your views are at all like mine, reading these plans will send chills down your spine. Yet of the two front-runners today, Romney is the less conservative.
I hope you’re planning to watch tonight’s debate. It begins at 8 p.m. ET on MSNBC and will re-air on CNBC and Telemundo. POLITICO will be livestreaming the debate online – with a pre-debate show from the Library beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET and post-debate analysis immediately following. Watch it at: politico.com/reagandebate.
For more information:
- Romney’s complete “Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth”
- “The Best and Worst of Mitt Romney’s Job Plan,” by Daniel Indiviglio, an associate editor at The Atlantic and former investment banker
- “Romney’s Jobs Plan,” by Robert Reich, former secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton
- “Mitt Romney’s 59 Economic Flavors: A jobs plan that shrinks from some of the biggest issues,” Wall Street Journal editorial