Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is rolling out an economic plan today that includes 59 ideas based on limiting government interference in the market to stimulate growth.
Released just days before President Obama plans to deliver a speech on job creation before a joint session of Congress, Romney's plan hits well-tread Republican territory. It includes ideas like eliminating the capital gains tax for "middle-income" taxpayers and instituting other tax reforms, scaling back regulations, standing against some union interests and expanding domestic energy production.
The former Massachusetts governor will unveil the full plan today in a speech in Las Vegas and previews the plan in a USA Today op-ed. Among the 59 ideas he has to revive the economy, Romney writes in his op-ed, are 10 "concrete actions" he plans to take on his first day in office.
Romney's plan is similar in many respects to proposals from other GOP candidates, but its unveiling also opens up the candidate to attacks from his opponents.
Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman recently introduced his own economic plan, and in a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, he endorses a number of ideas that Romney proposed -- expanded free trade, tax and regulatory reform and changes in energy policy. However, in a blog post today, Huntsman's campaign charges Romney can't be trusted to turn the economy around, given his record as governor.
"The American people should hope the vision and policies [Romney] puts forth for our nation are the antithesis of what he implemented during his one term as governor of Massachusetts," Huntsman campaign manager Matt David wrote in the blog post. "Because if Gov. Romney's record is any indication, his plan will markedly raise fees and corporate taxes, block the adoption of a flat tax, let the Bush tax cuts expire and strangle small businesses with new, onerous health care regulations."
"Jon Huntsman quietly, thoughtfully led Utah to leading the nation in job creation... About the same time, another governor led Massachusetts.... [and] ended up 47th in job creation," a female narrator says in the web video, over an image of an abandoned, worn out baseball mitt.
Both former governors assail Mr. Obama for burdening the free market with too much regulation. Romney, in his op-ed, specifically says he'll eliminate "Obamacare," while Huntsman calls the president's Wall Street reform bill a "regulatory sin" and a "1,600 page monstrosity."
Romney specifically calls for offsetting any new proposed regulation by removing another regulation of equivalent monetary cost. He also calls for consolidating the 47 existing worker retraining programs, run by nine federal agencies, into one "rational system."
Romney calls for keeping marginal income tax rates and tax rates on savings and investment low. He says taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers should be eliminated.
Huntsman, meanwhile, suggests slashing tax rates at their base while eliminating tax loopholes. He proposes three base rates for individual taxpayers at 8 percent, 14 percent and 23 percent.