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Mitt Romney On the Issues: Spending and the Economy

Growing the Economy and Reducing Government

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Mitt Romney On the Issues: Spending and the Economy

Mitt Romney speaks about his economics platform

Whitney Curtis, Getty Images News

After almost four years of enacting liberal policies, the Obama administration has increased federal spending to unearthly levels while hindering economic activity by constantly threatening businesses with higher taxes, burdensome regulations, the threat of lawsuit, and Obamacare. Romney's platform includes a number of policies that would reduce that trend and promote the free market, reduce spending, eliminate subsidies to political allies, and implement policies that would allow the economy to grow by removing the heavy hand of government.

Conservatism does not hold that government creates jobs, but government can do things that hurt the creation of jobs. As the number of unemployed and underemployed has risen despite assurances by President Obama that they wouldn't, it is obvious that the expensive policies guided by liberalism have not worked. The unfathomable amount of money spent to "fix" the economy by the administration for little-to-no progress further illustrates those failures. The following are highlights of what a Romney administration would do to spur economic growth and reduce federal spending.

Repeal Obamacare

Mitt Romney's main pitch to Americans is to repeal Obamacare, a law that has luckily not been fully enacted as of yet. The law is a regulatory, anti-market, bureaucratic nightmare that will cost the taxpayers billions of dollars per year if ever fully implemented. Romney vows to repeal Obamacare and return the healthcare question primarily back to the states, who can then implement their own policies and programs. At the same time, he will promote pro-market principles in health care at the federal level and empower states to offer better programs.

Increase Tax Base

To help close the gap between federal receipts and federal spending, Romney will attempt to increase incoming revenue by increasing the number of taxpayers, not by raising taxes as Obama prefers. By reducing regulations, cutting taxes, and promoting pro-business policies, a Romney administration would hope to see increased economic activity leading to economic growth, a strong increase in job and labor participation, and by extension greater tax revenues. A growing economy would both remove people from the welfare and food stamp recipient roles and add them to the taxpayer base.

Reduce Taxes

Part of Romney's pro-growth initiatives is to reduce the corporate tax rate that currently sits at 35%, one of the highest in the world. The net effect of such a high tax rate, combined with the high cost of doing business with Big Labor, is companies have been forced to move their operations overseas. By reducing the corporate tax rate, the US would be opening the door for businesses to remain or return to the US for their business operations. Additionally, Romney's plan included making permanent a 20% across-the-board tax cut on marginal rates.

Support Right-to-Work

As a businessman who has had to deal with, and yes even shut down, union-controlled businesses, Romney understands the importance of the right-to-work status of states. The Obama administration has been working hand-in-hand with Big Labor in opposing right-to-work and non-union states, and they have attempted to prevent businesses from operating in those states. He has vowed to reduce the negative impact that unions have on business by leveling the playing field and not allowing labor bosses to harm business. As Governor Walker has done in Wisconsin, the Romney plan would also remove the requirement that individuals be forced to join unions and be held hostage by Big Labor's political agenda.

Reduce Regulations

In order to help businesses, Romney's platform aims to reduce burdensome and costly regulations that hinder business activity. As discussed, the repeal of Obamacare will remove the dark cloud of regulations that hang over the heads of employers. He will attempt to reduce the many regulations dictated by the Obama administration's team of czars, including regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency that has promoted an anti-carbon and costly pro-green agenda to the detriment of the economy and the taxpayer.

Cut Spending

In order to reduce federal spending, Mitt Romney has proposed a 5% across the board spending cut for all federal programs and agencies. While campaigning in Iowa and Florida, he discussed the need for ending ethanol and sugar subsidies. He has also proposed reducing or eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, suggesting that NPR and PBS begin airing commercials to close their funding gap. He has also promised to end federal funding for abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood and would cut other wasteful spending programs that have increased under the Obama administration.

Federal Employee Reform

Romney has vowed to reform the public service sector in order to save the taxpayers billions of dollars and reduce the overall size and scope of government. During the Obama administration, Republican governors such as Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Chris Christie in New Jersey have had to stand up to the unions to return fiscal sanity to their states. Romney vows to do the same on the national level starting with the repeal of the Davis-Bacon act, which currently reduces competition, favors labor unions, and drives up the cost to the taxpayers.

Noting that public sector employees receive far higher wages and better benefits than their private sector counterparts, Romney vows to reduce the pay of public employees. Romney also looks to reduce the overall federal government workforce through attrition. As public sector employees retire each year, he wants to replace them on a 2-1 ratio. To make this work, the plan is to gradually consolidate agencies and job positions so as to operate more efficiently and eliminate unnecessary jobs.

Conclusion: A Conservative Agenda

Overall, Romney's economic proposals would be welcomed by conservatives across the board. The policies offer a major contrast to the big government, anti-business, Big Labor policies that have dominated the Obama agenda. While some conservatives may view portions of the Romney plan as not being forceful enough, it certainly is a realistic start of what could be accomplished in the first four years of any administration. It is obvious that heading into the 2012 presidential election, there will be two polar opposite set of policies up for debate.

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