Opinion: Gov. Jon Huntsman’s jobs plan: ‘Straightforward and common sense’
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If you collect job plans, this is your time.
On Wednesday Republican former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman jumped to the front of the line and issued his jobs plan. (See excerpts and full text below.)
Another former \governor, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, will soon be issuing his. And after some fumbled negotiations in public, House Speaker John Boehner and the Obama White House agreed last evening that 137 weeks into his administration, the president will speak to a joint session of Congress with his latest plan to create jobs.
If the past nearly 32 months are any indication, none of them will pass, work or matter. Unemployment, which was supposed to stay beneath 8% if we threw $787 billion in stimnulus money at it, is now 9.1%. Consumer confidence has tanked. Economic growth is virtually stagnant.
Except for jobs plan speechwriters. They are in huge demand. This morning we have here first some excerpts from Huntsman’s speech Wednesday. After the excerpts we have the full text of his jobs plan remarks.
And we will be doing the same for the upcoming plans with cross-referencing links to each, so Ticket readers can compare. First, Huntsman:
We have an economic crisis in this country. The marketplace is crying out for predictability, competitiveness and signs of confidence. Above all, people need jobs. There is no more urgent priority at this point in our nation’s history than creating jobs and strengthening our economic core; everything else revolves around it.... Washington has never suffered from a vacuum of ideas; it suffers from a vacuum of leadership. I’m not running for president to promise solutions. I’m running to deliver solutions.... Let me start by saying that debt is a cancer that if left untreated will destroy our economy from within.... One of the most indefensible examples is the National Labor Relations Board’s ongoing....
... effort to prevent America’s largest exporter, Boeing, from building a new plant in South Carolina in an effort to block investment in right-to-work states. If elected, I will immediately instruct the NLRB to stop pursuing this politically motivated attack on free enterprise, and if they fail to do so I will replace them.... We also must repeal Obamacare, a $1 trillion bomb dropped on the taxpayers that only hampers businesses and job creation.... Here is just one example. The U.S. has more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil. Yet the Obama Administration just issued fuel economy regulations that effectively bar heavy-duty trucks from converting to natural gas.... President Obama won in 2008 on Hope. We’re going to win in 2012 on Solutions.
Now, here’s the full Huntsman jobs text:
Gov. Jon Huntsman’s jobs plan, as provided by his campaign
Today I’d like to outline my plan to put America back to work, and rebuild her economic engine -– stronger and more powerful than ever before.
We have an economic crisis in this country. The marketplace is crying out for predictability, competitiveness and signs of confidence. Above all, people need jobs. As we gather this afternoon, 14 million of our fellow Americans are unemployed. Millions more are so dispirited they’ve given up looking.
Our economy is often framed through such numbers. Yet behind the numbers are human tragedies: families torn apart, relationships pushed to the brink, men and women struggling to maintain self-esteem and the pride that comes with self-sufficiency.
There is no more urgent priority at this point in our nation’s history than creating jobs and strengthening our economic core; everything else revolves around it.
Meeting our challenges will require serious solutions, but above all, it will require serious leadership – a quality in high demand in our nation’s capital, and among my opponents on the campaign trail.
It was just four weeks ago that I was the only candidate to standup and support a compromise to save our nation from default – which would have triggered calamitous consequences for our economy.
President Obama never even offered a plan of his own, and all of my opponents supported default, even as far as attempting to undermine the deal at the 11th hour. That simply doesn’t cut it – especially in these trying times.
The ideas I will discuss today are not radical or revolutionary. They are straightforward and common sense.
Many of you have heard them talked about before for years. But therein lies the problem. Washington has never suffered from a vacuum of ideas; it suffers from a vacuum of leadership.
I’m not running for president to promise solutions. I’m running to deliver solutions.
Some of my entitlement reforms come directly from the Paul Ryan Plan. Other solutions come from the Simpson-Bowles Commission – a bipartisan group that last year put forth some very sensible tax reforms.
My plan may be challenged by the special interests, on the left and the right. But it represents a serious path forward – toward fiscal discipline and economic growth.
It also represents a very different vision for our country than the current occupier of the White House.
The President believes that we can tax and spend and regulate our way to prosperity.
We cannot. We must compete our way to prosperity.
When I was born, manufacturing comprised 25 percent of our GDP. Today, it’s down to around 10 percent. This does not reflect a decline in American ingenuity or work ethic; it reflects our government’s failure to adapt to the realities of the 21st Century economy.
We need American entrepreneurs not only thinking of products like the IPhone or Segway; we need American workers building those products. It’s time for Made in America to mean something again.
Overseas, I’ve heard our adversaries speak of America’s decline as if it were predetermined — it is not. Some say today’s economy is the “new normal we must accept.” I refuse to.
It is Time for America to Compete Again…and here is how we’re going to do it.
* Let me start by saying that debt is a cancer that if left untreated will destroy our economy from within. I have been an outspoken supporter of the Ryan Plan, which I believe begins to address the long-term problems that make our current course of spending unsustainable. I also support a balanced budget amendment. Our debt is immoral and it should be unconstitutional as well.
But we cannot restore our nation’s economic strength by cuts alone. We must compete.
* Over the last few decades, our tax code has devolved into a maze of special interest carve-outs, loopholes and temporary provisions that cost taxpayers more than $400 billion a year to comply with.
* Rather than tinker around the edges of a broken system, I’m going to drop a plan on the front steps of the Capitol that says, “We need to clean house.” Get rid of all tax expenditures, all loopholes, all deductions, all subsidies. Use that to lower rates across the board. And do it on a revenue-neutral basis.
* For individual taxpayers, I propose a version of the plan crafted by the Simpson-Bowles Commission, known as the “zero” plan. We will eliminate all deductions and credits, in favor of three drastically lower rates: 8, 14 and 23 percent.
* We will eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is unfairly penalizing a growing number of families and small businesses.
* We will also eliminate taxes on capital gains and dividends, which will lower the cost of capital and encourage investment in the economy.
* The United States cannot compete with the second-highest business tax rate in the developed world. So I propose lowering it from 35 to 25 percent – 1 point lower than the OECD average.
* A tax holiday for repatriation of corporate profits earned overseas should also be implemented immediately, making between $400 billion and $600 billion available to companies to make capital investments.
* Our creative and entrepreneurial class is being strangled by a complex and convoluted web of misguided and overreaching regulations.
* One of the most indefensible examples is the National Labor Relations Board’s ongoing effort to prevent America’s largest exporter, Boeing, from building a new plant in South Carolina in an effort to block investment in right-to-work states. If elected, I will immediately instruct the NLRB to stop pursuing this politically motivated attack on free enterprise, and if they fail to do so I will replace them.
* An equally chilling regulation we must repeal is Dodd-Frank. Rather than true financial reform, the American people were handed a 1600 page monstrosity that gives unelected bureaucrats unprecedented and unreviewable power over our financial system.
* Another fundamental problem with Dodd-Frank is it perpetuates “too big to fail.” Taxpayers must be protected from more bailouts. Yet we must reconsider whether increased competition between smaller entities is more efficient than a vast new regulatory apparatus that will almost certainly produce more bailouts.
* We also must repeal Obamacare, a $1 trillion bomb dropped on the taxpayers that only hampers businesses and job creation.
*We must end the EPA’s serious regulatory overreach, exemplified by its current effort to pass a new ozone rule, which would effectively halt new construction. And we must also reform the FDA’s ridiculous approval process that increases development costs and unnecessarily delays new products.
* To free ourselves from OPEC’s grasp and create American jobs, we must end our heroin-like addiction to foreign oil. Every year America sends more than $300 billion overseas for oil – to unstable and unfriendly regimes.
* We need to expand and open up new sources of domestic energy, thus lowering costs to businesses and improving our global competitiveness.
* We must start by expediting the approval process for safe, environmentally-sound projects – including our oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska and appropriate Federal lands and supporting the Keystone Pipeline Project in cooperation with Canada.
* We must eliminate subsidies and regulations that discourage domestic energy sources and technologies such as natural gas, biofuels and coal-to-liquids.
* Here is just one example. The U.S. has more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil. Yet the Obama Administration just issued fuel economy regulations that effectively bar heavy-duty trucks from converting to natural gas.
* Simply said, we can and must begin producing more energy right here at home.
* As a former diplomat, trade official, governor and business executive, I’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous economic opportunities of free trade.
* 95 percent of the world’s customers live outside our borders, and with the U.S. party to only 17 of more than 300 trade agreements worldwide; opening more markets for American businesses should be a commonsense tool to spark immediate growth.
* For 2.5 years, the President has failed to act on three trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama – I’d make them a top priority.
* Washington must also immediately start discussions with India to end in a bilateral free trade agreement strengthening our relationship with a friend who will prove to be critical to America’s success in the 21st century.
On each of these points and more outlined in our American Jobs Plan, President Obama’s economic record has been marked by failure.
As the Obama Administration has dithered, other nations are making the choices necessary to compete in the 21st Century. I’ve seen that first hand.
In Brasilia and Beijing, New Delhi and Seoul, our competitors are making the hard choices that will help assure their children a better life. If we fail to do the same, we are robbing our children of an inheritance every previous American generation has had.
I’m running for President because I’m prepared to lead the American people to that better and brighter future. We are the most optimistic, common-sense problem solvers on Earth. We can turn this thing around. I seek your vote to reignite America’s light.
Ladies and Gentleman:
We have no choice; we must unite and look beyond politics for solutions.
It’s time for America to start building things again.
It’s time for America to start working again.
It’s time for America to compete again.
I believe with a new administration we can do just that.
President Obama won in 2008 on Hope. We’re going to win in 2012 on Solutions.
Thank you. ####