Romney would leave tax rates where they are, which means he would make the Bush-era tax cuts – temporarily extended by Obama – permanent. He’d eliminate the estate tax completely, and zero out capital gains taxes for those with incomes below $200,000,
to help with retirement saving. Eventually, Romney would pursue reforms to make the tax code “fairer, flatter and simpler.”
This issue would test the Republican candidate’s newfound opposition to the type of healthcare plan that he championed as a governor. Romney has pledged to repeal Obama’s sweeping healthcare reform plan – which is similar to the one he signed into law in Massachusetts in 2006 –while allowing states to devise their own plans. Yet repeal would be divisive, distracting, costly and complex, and Romney may only be giving lip service to the idea.
Romney doesn’t consider Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” as his GOP opponent, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, does, but he would consider several changes to keep it solvent, such as raising the retirement age or reducing benefits for wealthier enrollees. He insists that there should be no new taxes to help pay for Social Security.
WEB EXCLUSIVE: Orange County faces a number of key proposals, measures and local elections next month. Learn about them here.
Romney has always supported the cut, cap and balance strategy that has become a longtime Republican staple. However, that plan seems highly unlikely to ever garner enough support on Capitol Hill or the states to eventually become law. That leaves Romney’s plan for cutting the debt incomplete at best, especially since he wants to cut taxes without making up the lost revenue in a number of other areas.
Like his comrades in the corporate-conservative complex, Romney feels that a “vast edifice of regulations” is strangling business, and he’d begin streamlining them right away. Romney would dispose of many of the Dodd-Frank financial reforms, for example, along with some environmental rules meant to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 25 percent is one of the Republican candidate’s “day one” priorities. Liberals throughout the U.S. would most certainly howl, but this measure wouldn’t be all that controversial if it also closed tax loopholes, reduced corporate welfare and gave companies more incentive
to invest in the United States.
Romney would allow oil drilling “wherever it can be done safely,” create a fast-track process for approving other types of energy permits, and streamline the approval of constructing new nuclear reactors. Even if he succeeded, however, it could be many years before the new energy policies were to create jobs or produce any new oil.
Declaring China, an ever-growing giant in the world economy, a currency manipulator is another “day one” priority for Romney, who said in a recent GOP debate that “if we’re not willing to stand up to China, we’ll get run over by China.” However, many CEOs dread a trade war with China, since their companies are profitable there under the status quo. So President Romney might not be quite as aggressive on this issue as Candidate Romney.
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