By Mitt Romney
Not long ago, most Americans grew up believing that the future was full of possibility. We felt the joyful optimism that comes from being raised in a land of opportunity, a place where -- with risk-taking and hard work -- anyone can make a better life.
That deep confidence in a better tomorrow is the basic promise of America. Today, that promise has been threatened by a faltering economy and a lack of presidential leadership.
For 36 months, the unemployment rate has been over 8 percent. 24 million of our fellow Americans are struggling to find work. There are 3 million "missing workers" who have given up on finding a job altogether. Home values continue to fall, foreclosures are at a record high. Our debt is too great, and our opportunities too few.
I've traveled the land and everywhere I go, I meet Americans who are suffering greatly. You can see it on their faces and hear it in their voices. I've met parents who are struggling to get by with one working the day shift while the other works at night just so they can make ends meet. I've met graduating college kids facing loan payments and a bad economy, and they are worried that they won't be able to get a job. This is not the way America needs to be.
President Obama promised he would fix three things. First, he said he would hold unemployment under 8%; it hasn't been under 8% for 36 months. Then, he said he was going to cut the deficit in half; he's doubled it. Third, he said he'd make Medicare and Social Security solvent for future generations. Three years later, he still hasn't offered a serious proposal for either one.
We have not seen a failure to communicate. We have seen a failure to lead.
I am running for President to offer more than just a change in policy. I am offering a dramatic change in perspective and philosophy. We need a comprehensive set of pro-growth policies that will get our economy moving again.
"I aim for more jobs, less debt, smaller government. I aim to restore the promise of America. Nothing less."
Reforming our tax code is critical. I will lower taxes to lighten the burden on middle-income Americans and to reignite the economy. A key measure will be an across-the-board, 20% reduction in marginal individual income tax rates. By reducing the tax on the next dollar of income earned by all taxpayers, we will encourage hard work and productivity by allowing Americans to keep more of what they earn.
The businesses that pay taxes through the individual income tax system account for more than half of all private sector jobs in the United States. So this tax cut will encourage businesses to hire, raise wages, and grow the economy.
I will reduce the corporate tax rate to 25%. Currently, it's among the highest in the developed world; I will bring it in line with other nations, making America a place where investment capital flows. I will end the job-killing repatriation tax, so American companies who do business overseas will bring their profits here and invest at home.
I will promote savings and investment by maintaining the 15% rate on capital gains and dividends. I will eliminate the tax entirely for those with annual income below $200,000. These low tax rates will encourage Americans to save and invest -- and they will encourage business investment and economic growth. I will repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, and I will abolish the death tax.
By making bold cuts in spending and commonsense entitlement reforms, we will make our government simpler, smaller, and smarter. Through pro-growth policies, by abolishing Obamacare and eliminating other Obama-imposed impediments to economic growth, we will get our economy back on track. Taken together, the plan I'm offering represents the most substantial reform of the federal government in modern history. I aim for more jobs, less debt, smaller government. I aim to restore the promise of America. Nothing less.