The Romney Agenda: A Conservative Blueprint to Strengthen the Economy
" And if you want to see growth in this economy, you keep taxes down, regulation down, you make the cost of doing business low, you invest in technology and education, you let the American people have the incentives to innovate and create new industry. That's why America is so successful." - Governor Romney (CNBC's "Kudlow & Company," 2/7/07)
BLUEPRINT #1: Making The Bush Tax Cuts Permanent:
Governor Romney Will Make The Bush Tax Cuts Permanent. Governor Romney believes making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent is the first step to ensuring that Americans are able to keep more of their hard-earned money.
By Making The Bush Tax Cuts Permanent, Governor Romney Will Preserve Tax Relief For Millions Of Americans:
- 108,950,000 Total Taxpayers Benefited From The Tax Relief In 2006.
- 97,024,000 Americans Benefited From The Rate Reduction In The Lowest Tax Bracket In 2006.
- 34,080,000 Couples Saw A Reduction In The Marriage Penalty In 2006.
- 27,975,000 Taxpayers Benefited From The Increased Child Credit In 2006.
BLUEPRINT #2: Rolling Back Tax Rates For All Americans:
Governor Romney Will Roll Back Tax Rates Across The Board For All Americans. As President, Governor Romney will cut marginal tax rates across the board, allowing all Americans to save more money. This approach is fair, simple and extends the pro-growth benefits of tax rate cuts to all Americans.
BLUEPRINT #3: Eliminating Taxes On Middle Class Savings:
Governor Romney Will Make Middle Class Savings Tax Free. Governor Romney's plan will allow middle class Americans to save tax free by changing the tax rate on interest, capital gains and dividends to absolutely 0%. By helping more Americans save and invest, we can meet the challenges of an aging population and ensure the financial security of America.
- Governor Romney's Plan Will Allow Over 95% Of American Families To Save And Invest Tax-Free. Any taxpayer with Adjusted Gross Income of under $200,000 would pay a tax rate of absolutely 0% on all of the income they earn from their savings, capital gains and dividends.
Governor Romney's Plan Will Help Millions Of Taxpayers Save And Invest Tax-Free. Based on 2005 tax returns:
- 56,148,740 Taxpayers Who Earned Interest Could Have Benefited From This Tax Break.
- 28,351,341 Taxpayers Who Earned Dividends Could Have Benefited From This Tax Break.
- 23,316,273 Taxpayers Who Earned Capital Gains Could Have Benefited From This Tax Break.
BLUEPRINT #4: Eliminating The Death Tax Once And For All:
Governor Romney Will Kill The Death Tax. It is unfair to tax the American people three times: once when they earn their money; second when they invest it and receive income from those investments; and third when they die.
- Governor Romney Believes The Death Tax Is Fundamentally Unfair. The Death Tax unfairly impacts families, farmers, ranchers and small businesses. These are the engines of America's economic growth and they should not be burdened by unfair taxes. By eliminating the Death Tax, we will help thousands of Americans take money that would be used to pay an unfair tax and instead use it fuel economic growth.
BLUEPRINT #5: Cutting The Corporate Tax Rate:
Governor Romney Believes Our Corporate Tax Rate Must Be Competitive With The Rest Of The World. The United States has the second highest corporate tax rate in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. We simply cannot afford for future economic growth to have a tax rate that is out of alignment with the other major economies of the world.
BLUEPRINT #6: Opposing Social Security Tax Increases:
Governor Romney Opposes Any Increase In Social Security Taxes. We can strengthen Social Security without resorting to higher Social Security taxes that will impact all Americans. Governor Romney will oppose any proposed increase in Social Security taxes.
BLUEPRINT #7: Making Medical Expenses Tax Deductible:
Governor Romney Will Make Qualified Medical Expenses Tax Deductible. Governor Romney supports the full deductibility of qualified medical expenses, which will allow Americans to deduct the cost of their health insurance and out-of-pocket medical expenses, where accompanied by at least catastrophic insurance.
BLUEPRINT #8: Vetoing Appropriations That Exceed Spending Targets:
Governor Romney Will Veto Appropriations Bills That Exceed Spending Targets. He will veto any non-defense appropriations bill that grows spending at a rate greater than inflation minus one percent (CPI-1%). This should be considered the minimum amount of spending reductions. This will save $300 billion over 10 years.
BLUEPRINT #9: Reevaluating All Federal Spending Programs:
Governor Romney Will Lead An Effort To Review And Reevaluate All Federal Spending Programs. His administration will undertake an exhaustive review of each individual federal program with the goal to eliminate and consolidate programs that are no longer useful or are bureaucratic and unwieldy. Federal spending programs do not have a right to immortality, and should not enjoy automatic increases year after year.
BLUEPRINT #10: Giving The President The Line-Item Veto Power:
Governor Romney Believes The President Needs The Line-Item Veto Power. As Governor, he had line-item authority, and often used it to trim or eliminate individual appropriations. Giving the President this power would allow us to make tremendous strides in eliminating earmarks and cutting inefficient programs.
BLUEPRINT #11: Reforming Entitlements:
Governor Romney Will Work To Reform Entitlement Programs. In a forthright and bipartisan manner, as President, Governor Romney will work with Congress to address the looming budget crisis caused by increased entitlement spending.
BLUEPRINT #12: Restoring The Supermajority Requirement:
Governor Romney Has Called On Congress To Re-Impose A Three-Fifths (60%) Supermajority Requirement To Raise Taxes. While Governor Romney is committed to lowering taxes, and as President will fight any proposed tax increase, he recognizes that all steps must be taken to prevent tax hikes. Congress should not be able to increase taxes on a political whim and with a simple majority.
BLUEPRINT #13: Giving The President Additional Flexibility To Cut Taxes:
Governor Romney Proposes Giving The Executive Branch The Authority To Spend Up To 25% Less Than Congress Appropriates. Governor Romney believes the President has an important role to play in the budget process, but that Presidential authority has been unjustifiably curbed in recent decades. With the proliferation of earmarks and with Congress unwilling to make tough spending choices, it is clear we need to re-insert the President into the budget process. The amount of money Congress tells the President to spend should be a spending ceiling, not a final price tag.
BLUEPRINT #14: Reforming The Tort System At The National Level:
Governor Romney Will Implement National Tort Reform. Governor Romney believes we must enact common sense tort reform at the federal level to make the system fairer and more predictable for both companies and the general public. These reforms will allow our companies to grow, while at the same time protecting those who deserve compensation for legitimate losses.
- Governor Romney Will Limit Non-Economic Damages And Prevent Excessive Punitive Damages Award. Non-Economic damages are inherently speculative, and a reasonable statutory cap makes sense. Governor Romney also believes we need a statutory prohibition on outrageous punitive damage awards.
- Governor Romney Will Require More Disclosure In Contingency Fee Arrangements. More disclosure will help clients make informed decisions, and it will help end abusive lawsuits and extortionate settlement demands by plaintiffs' lawyers.
BLUEPRINT #15: Providing Regulatory Relief:
Governor Romney Will Provide Employers With Regulatory Relief. Governor Romney believes the Washington regulatory burden is too high. As President, Governor Romney will eliminate cumbersome and unnecessary regulations and bureaucracies that hinder economic growth and job creation. Too often Washington politicians do not consider the negative economic effects of the many regulatory weeds that choke off growth. One of these regulations that must be pruned is Sarbanes-Oxley.
BLUEPRINT #16: Becoming Energy Secure:
Governor Romney Will Work To Make America Energy Independent. Energy costs that put pressure on household finances are a major concern for families. With nearly 60 percent of our oil coming from abroad, we must become energy independent. Governor Romney has called for a bold and far-reaching research initiative to create new, economic sources of clean energy. We must invest in renewable and alternative fuels such as ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, biodiesel, and liquefied coal.
BLUEPRINT #17: Improving America's Health Care System:
Governor Romney Will Improve Our Health Care System By Putting Conservative, Market-Based Principles To Work. Governor Romney's health care reform plan is a comprehensive solution to America's health care ills that expands access to affordable, portable, quality, private health insurance. Rather than relying on a one-size-fits-all, government-run system, Governor Romney's plan recognizes the importance of the role of the states in leading reform and the need for innovation in dealing with rising health care costs and the problem of the uninsured.
- Governor Romney's Plan Facilitates The Growth Of The Private Health Insurance Market. Governor Romney believes that by expanding and deregulating the private health insurance market, we can decrease costs and ensure that more Americans have access to affordable, portable, quality, private health insurance.
- Step 1: Establish Federal Incentives To Deregulate And Reform State Health Insurance Markets So Market Forces Can Work.
- Step 2: Redirect Federal Spending On "Free Care" To Help The Low-Income Uninsured Purchase Private Insurance.
- Step 3: Institute Health Savings Account (HSA) Enhancements And The Full Deductibility Of Qualified Medical Expenses.
- Step 4: Promote Innovation In Medicaid.
- Step 5: Implement Medical Liability Reform.
- Step 6: Bring Market Dynamics And Modern Technology To Health Care.
BLUEPRINT #18: Promoting Free Trade:
Governor Romney Believes The United States Must Continue To Work To Open Markets To American Products. Governor Romney is a strong believer in free trade and opening foreign markets to American products. While continuing to promote free trade, Governor Romney will also work to ensure that free trade is fair and there is a level-playing field for American products.
BLUEPRINT #19: Taking On The Issue Of Embedded Taxes:
Governor Romney Will Address The Issue Of Embedded Taxes On American Products. In the global economy, American products carry a very heavy load known as embedded taxes. It's estimated that our products face about a $100 billion disadvantage around the world. Because of a WTO ruling, taxes that are embedded in Americans products cannot be refunded to exporters. As President, Governor Romney will fight for a level playing field for American products around the world.
BLUEPRINT #20: Strengthening Our Education System:
Governor Romney Will Strengthen Our Education System To Prepare America's Children For A New Generation Of Challenges. As President, Governor Romney will emphasize math and science education, while promoting innovative approaches such as charter schools and public-private partnerships, to ensure that our workers have the intellectual capital and skills to compete in the 21st century economy. We should raise the bar in education by setting high standards for our schools, insisting on accountability, and treating teaching as a true profession.
BLUEPRINT #21: Improving Worker Retraining:
Governor Romney Supports Efforts To Give Workers The Skills And Tools Necessary To Succeed In The Global Economy. He supports consolidating and streamlining the numerous existing federal worker training and retraining programs.
BLUEPRINT #22: Reforming Our Immigration Laws And Securing Our Borders:
Governor Romney Will Secure Our Borders And Enforce Our Current Immigration Laws. Governor Romney believes we must enforce our laws, secure our border, put in place an enforceable employment verification system, and provide no special pathway to citizenship for those here illegally. We must also encourage legal immigration and streamline the system to recruit and retain high-skilled workers and welcome the best and the brightest from around the world to our universities.
BLUEPRINT #23: Investing In Our Transportation Infrastructure:
Governor Romney Will Invest In Building And Repairing The Nation's Transportation Infrastructure. We need to invest in infrastructure projects critical to the national economy and the flow of goods and people, instead of funding home-district pork.