Entries in Economic Plan (11)


Obama Gets Chilly Reception from Independents on Economy Plans

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Swing-voting independents see President Obama’s plans for the economy negatively rather than positively by 54-38 percent in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, marking the president’s challenges as he seeks re-election in still-troubled economic times.

It’s no party for Mitt Romney either -- independents also rate his economic plans more unfavorably than favorably, by 47-35 percent.  But more are undecided, giving Romney some room to maneuver. And, unlike Obama, Romney avoids majority criticism in this group.

Romney lags among moderates, and does less well among conservatives than Obama does among liberals.  But the president’s economic plans are underwater among middle- to upper-middle-income Americans, while Romney manages an even split in this group.  And Obama’s economic program is especially unpopular -- by a 2-1 margin -- among whites, though he does far better than Romney among non-whites.

Obama also crosses the 50 percent negative line among registered voters, who see his economic program unfavorably rather than favorably by 51-43 percent.  Romney’s rating among registered voters is 46-40 percent unfavorable-favorable, again with more undecided.

Obama’s challenges versus Romney's show more starkly when two of the president’s weaker groups are combined -- independents who are registered to vote.  In this group, more see Obama’s economic plans unfavorably than favorably by 56-36 percent; on Romney’s it’s 45-39 percent.

In sum this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, highlights the mixture of economic discontent and partisan preferences that both candidates face.  Overall, Americans respond negatively rather than positively to Obama’s economic proposals by 50-43 percent, and to Romney’s by 47-37 percent, with, as noted, sharp differences among groups.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama Campaign Sees Class Divide in Romney Deficit Plan

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- As Mitt Romney rolls out his plan to curb the federal budget deficit, the Obama campaign is honing its election narrative based on a clear class divide: by warning the Republican’s economic plan would devastate the middle class while lining the pockets of the rich.

In a memo to reporters, Obama for America policy director James Kvaal said the Romney plan, which the former governor previewed in a speech Thursday night, would “end Medicare,” impose “deep cuts” to education and infrastructure spending, and enact tax cuts that would largely benefit millionaire families and corporations.

“While a balanced, responsible approach to reducing the deficit is needed, Romney will not ask everyone to contribute their fair share,” Kvaal wrote.  ”As a result, his plan requires deep spending cuts across government, everywhere outside of defense spending.”

Obama also favors spending cuts, including some “modest adjustments” to entitlement programs, but only if coupled with tax hikes on wealthier Americans making more than $200,000 a year.

Emphasizing the contrast between President Obama and Republicans on taxes and spending has been a key objective for Democrats, who see a path to victory in 2012 if the electorate is acutely aware of the tangible trade-offs at stake.

Underscoring the campaign’s focus on the GOP frontrunner, Kvaal’s memo repeatedly invoked the name of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., whose austere and controversial budget plan has become a political prop in arguments on both sides of the aisle.

Polls show much of the concern with Ryan’s plan centers on proposed changes to Medicare, one of the primary drivers of the federal budget deficit.  Under the proposal, for which Romney has voiced support, the federal government would provide subsidies to seniors through the states to help them purchase private health insurance plans.

“I’d like to take some of these programs like Medicaid and take the dollars the federal government has been spending and give those back to states and let states craft the programs in the ways they think best to care for their own poor,” Romney said Thursday night in Exeter, N.H.

Democrats believe that vision will be a non-starter among elderly voters, who are worried about their financial security and health care costs now more than ever before. Republicans in turn have accused Dems of using "Mediscare" tactics -- including President Obama's own claims in April that the Republican budget "ends Medicare as we know it" -- to try to scare up Democrat votes.

Romney, “would cut taxes for the most fortunate Americans at the same time he makes reckless cuts to the very programs that help strengthen and build the middle class and provide security to seniors, children with disabilities and the most vulnerable Americans who are working harder and harder to make ends meet,” Kvaal claimed.

For his part, the former Massachusetts governor says the government has a “moral responsibility” to balance the budget through cuts alone.  He is expected to lay out additional details of his deficit reduction plan in a speech Friday at the Americans for Prosperity convention in Washington.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Offers Specific Steps to Cut Spending by $500 Billion

Ethan Miller/Getty Images(EXETER, N.H.) -- Previewing his spending policy speech in New Hampshire Thursday evening, presidential candidate Mitt Romney offered specific steps he would take to reduce spending, vowing that if elected he will cut federal spending by $500 billion by the end of his first term.

While Romney laid out his full economic plan in September, Thursday night’s speech delved further into the details of what he would actually do -- and cut -- to try and balance the budget.

Acknowledging that $500 billion is “a lot of money,” Romney said he will use three approaches to reduce spending to about 20 percent of the economy.

Drawing largely on remarks that Texas Gov. Rick Perry made in an interview with the New Hampshire Union Leader last week about how he was “less worried about whether or not we’ve got some budget holes to fill,” Romney repeated again and again that the deficit is important.

“There are some who say when you talk about fiscal responsibility and cutting a program you’re showing that your heartless,” he said. “I think you have to say, ‘No, no we have a moral responsibility not to spend more than we take in.’"

“The right course for us is to be fiscally responsible,” said Romney, who never mentioned Perry by name, “and to recognize that deficits do matter, they matter a lot. We are a party that recognizes you don’t spend what you don’t have. Deficits matter."

Romney spoke at the Exeter Town Hall in eastern New Hampshire, where the old schoolhouse-like building was packed beyond capacity on both the ground level and the balcony. The audience members interrupted Romney with applause several times during his speech, prompting Romney’s encouragement.

“Yes, go ahead, go ahead,” he’d say to the round of applause.

Romney was introduced by a former New Hampshire governor and former U.S. senator, Judd Gregg. Another former New Hampshire governor and recent Romney backer, John H. Sununu, was also in attendance. Sununu took a moment to remind the audience that “Iowa picks corn, New Hampshire picks presidents.”

Romney’s three approaches -- which, he said, combined will achieve his goal in cutting spending by half a trillion dollars by 2016 -- include eliminating and cutting programs, sending some programs back to the state level and, finally, improving the productivity of the federal government.

“There are some programs I just don’t like and will be easy to eliminate,” quipped Romney. “Like Obamacare.”

“That saves about $90 billion, Obamacare alone, by 2016,” he said.

“There are other programs I like and I don’t want to cut but, yet, I ask myself: Do we have to have that program? Is it essential for America? Is it so essential that its worth borrowing the money to pay for it from China knowing that we’ll never pay it back in my generation but instead pass it on to my kids and then their kids? And, by that test, there are a number of things I say [it is] time for us to stop spending money on,” he said.

“I like Amtrak, but $1.6 billion borrowed from China isn’t a good idea [so] I’ll cut it out,” said Romney.

On Thursday’s USA Today opinion page, Romney offered even more specifics on the types of programs he would cut. He wrote that he would enact “reductions in the subsidies for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Corporation for Public Broadcast and the Legal Services Corporation.”

Eliminating Title X family planning programs that benefit “abortion groups like Planned Parenthood,” would also be on his agenda, wrote Romney.

When it comes to programs that he doesn’t want to eliminate, Romney said he would send them back to the states. While he said he would maintain a safety net for those who can’t care for themselves, Romney said programs like Medicaid, housing vouchers and food stamps, which are all administrated by different departments in the federal government, should be taken back to the state level.

The third approach to reducing spending, Romney said, is government productivity. He said he’d reduce the government work force through attrition and would repeal the Davis-Bacon Act, a federal law that requires workers be paid wages determined by the Department of Labor.

“Simpler, smaller and smarter,” he said of the economy he hopes that will emerge from his plan.

“I can tell you again, it’s not going to be popular at every corner for us to rein in the excesses of government,” said Romney, who just last week said at a town hall meeting that he is OK if he has to make difficult decisions as president.

In USA Today, Romney used even stronger language, writing, “What I propose will not be easy. Washington is full of sacred cows that supposedly can’t be slaughtered and electrified third rails that allegedly can’t be touched. But if we do not act now, the irresistible mathematics of debt will soon lead to unimaginable peril.”

Romney will deliver his fiscal policy speech Friday in Washington, D.C., at the Americans for Prosperity “Defending the American Dream Summit.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Romney Directs New Attack at Perry, Telling Him 'Deficits Matter'

Win McNamee/Getty Images(EXETER, N.H.) -- Rick Perry will face a new round of criticism Thursday from Mitt Romney, who will stress a simple economic message to the Texas governor: “Deficits matter.”

Romney’s new line of attack comes days after Perry suggested he is less concerned about how his economic plan will affect the federal deficit in the short term and more focused on creating incentives for job creators to spur hiring in the country.

“I'm less worried about whether or not we've got some budget holes to fill in the early years than I am getting the confidence of the job creators that they can actually go out and risk their capital and have a chance to have a return on their investment and create jobs,” Perry told the New Hampshire Union Leader in an interview Friday.

“If Rick Perry thinks deficits don’t matter, then he’s no different than President Obama.  Deficits matter,” Lanhee Chen, policy director for Romney for President, said.  “His opinion shouldn’t surprise anyone, though -- in Texas, Gov. Perry covered up his massive budget deficit with billions of dollars from the very same Obama stimulus he claimed to oppose.  Gov. Perry’s deficit-expanding plan is not what Iowa or the rest of the country needs at a time of trillion-dollar budget shortfalls and exploding national debt.”

In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Perry dismissed the suggestion that “even conservative think tanks” argue his “Cut, Balance and Grow” plan, which centers upon an optional 20 percent flat tax, will actually expand the federal deficit, and he defended any loss of revenue which might occur as a result of the plan.   

Critics have called Perry’s economic proposal a “deficit buster” and one that will force the deficit “into the stratosphere.”

As he jabs at Perry for not stressing the importance of the deficit, Romney is focusing the end of his week on outlining his fiscal policy, which will be previewed at a speech in Exeter, New Hampshire Thursday, when he also will receive the endorsement of New Hampshire State Sen. Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, who will join him at the event.  Romney will then deliver a fiscal policy speech to the Americans for Prosperity “Defending the American Dream Summit” in Washington, D.C. on Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Calls Perry’s Economic Plan ‘Flat Tax Lite’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas) -- At a private fundraiser in Corpus Christi, Texas Wednesday night hosted by the Nueces County Republican Women, Cain told the group how his ’9-9-9′ plan measured up against Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s recent ‘Cut, Balance, and Grow’ plan.

Cain said, “Bottom line, Gov. Perry’s flat tax lite is no competition for 9-9-9.”

“Every interview that I do now till the end of the week, they’re going to want to compare it to the 9-9-9 plan,” said Cain, who elaborated on the many differences between his plan and Perry’s plan.

“It’s not a true flat tax.  It’s flat tax lite.  The reason it's flat tax lite is because he still retains some favorite deductions -- which means the lobbyists are still going to work hard to get their favorite deduction put back in.  So that defeats the purpose," he said.  "Secondly, it doesn’t take out embedded taxes.  The embedded taxes are still there.  Why?  Because the 20 percent flat personal tax and the 20 percent flat tax on businesses still causes business to pass those taxes onto consumers.  So he didn’t remove embedded taxes.”

Cain joked about the popularity of his 9-9-9 plan saying, “When I’m walking through airports, TSA agents say hello Mr. Cain, 9-9-9!  It’s my new last name.”

Cain then faulted Perry’s plan for not eliminating loopholes inherent in the current tax code.

“He just basically collapsed all of the tax brackets into one.  That’s all it is.  That’s why I call it flat tax lite,” he said.

“Here’s the other big difference.  It doesn’t expand the base.  As long as you’re only taxing income, the only way to raise revenue is to raise taxes.  The reason he ends up with a 20 percent rate versus a 9 percent rate is because with 9-9-9 we expanded the base.  We have income tax and we expanded the base by adding the national sales tax.  And when you expand the base you can get the lowest rate possible for everybody,” Cain said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Ron Paul’s Economic Plan Gets His Rivals Talking

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Ron Paul may have little chance of capturing the GOP presidential nomination, but that hasn’t stopped his political opponents from going after a tax plan he recently introduced that would slice $1 trillion from the federal budget.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and Paul’s 2012 Republican rival, labeled the plan “a non-starter.”

“If you come to me and tell me I need to lose 30 pounds and you’re going to amputate my right leg, I think it’s a non-starter,” Gingrich told the Quad City Times.

Herman Cain, the latest Republican presidential candidate to see a surge in the polls, hinted that Paul’s drastic approach to budget cutting won’t work.

“If you listen to his positions on a lot of things, it’s always, ‘Let’s throw out the baby with the bathwater,’” Cain told CNN.

Paul’s campaign staff argues that the attacks from established candidates reinforce the idea that Paul is having a greater impact on the race by raising fiscal issues the others won’t touch.

Paul’s economic plan involves $1 trillion in spending cuts, the bulk coming from the elimination of five Cabinet-level departments, including Energy, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce and Education.

Paul would wring out additional savings by eliminating all foreign aid and wars, and dialing back spending to 2006 levels.

In the latest ABC News poll, only eight percent of likely Republican voters mentioned Paul as best to handle the economy -- compared with Romney and Perry, who both topped the poll at 22 percent.

At a recent campaign stop in New Hampshire, ABC News asked Paul what he planned to do to change those numbers.

“I’m not changing a thing,” said Paul.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry’s Flat Tax Hopes to Simplify Code

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- First there was a 59-point plan, then a 9-9-9 plan and now a third tax reform strategy is being tossed into the ring: a flat tax.

Think of the plan GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry will announce next week as the halfway point between Mitt Romney’s extensive 161-page economic proposal and Herman Cain’s simplistic 9s.

Like Romney’s plan, Perry’s apparently retains portions of the current tax code, such as the payroll tax.  But similar to Cain’s plan, it scraps the majority of the multi-page code in favor of a simpler, single-rate system.

“I want to make the tax code so simple that even [Treasury Secretary] Timothy Geithner can file his taxes on time,” Perry said Wednesday.

Proponents of the decades-old proposal say that filing taxes under a flat tax system would be so simple the entire tax form would fit on a postcard.

The premise of a flat tax is to streamline the current system of loopholes and deductions and replace it with one rate that individuals and businesses at all income levels will pay.  Similar to both Cain’s and Romney’s plans, a flat tax eliminates taxes on interest payments such as capital gains and dividends, as well as the estate, or “death,” tax.

“It is essentially protecting people from taxes on their investments as a way of encouraging more business development and the expansion of jobs,” said Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the non-partisan Tax Policy Center.  “That’s the intention.”

Williams said about half of the tax filers that will see a lower tax burden because of these exemptions are in the top 1 percent of income earners and make more than $2.2 million per year.

Steve Wamhoff, the legislative director at Citizens for Tax Justice, said he does not support a flat tax because it amounts to a “consolidation of loopholes for investment income and grants one big exemption for the rich.”

“Clearly, it seems like the unstated goal is to make the overall tax system less progressive,” Wamhoff said.  “Almost seems like they are trying to make the rich pay less and the poor pay more.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry to Propose Energy Plan to Create 1.2 Million Jobs

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(WEST MIFFLIN, Penn.) -- In his first major policy address since entering the presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will lay out a sweeping energy plan Friday, which will expand oil and gas exploration while spurring an economic boom he estimates will create 1.2 million American jobs.

“My plan is based on this simple premise: make what Americans buy.  Buy what Americans make.  And sell it to the world,” Perry will say at the U.S. Steel Mon Valley Works Plant in West Mifflin, Penn., according to excerpts of his prepared remarks released by the campaign.

“We are standing atop the next American economic boom…energy.  The quickest way to give our economy a shot in the arm is to deploy American ingenuity to tap American energy.  But we can only do that if environmental bureaucrats are told to stand down,” he’ll say.

The “Energizing American Jobs & Security” plan is the first phase of Gov. Perry’s economic policy rollout, which he hopes will reinvigorate his stumbling campaign.  Perry will unveil phase two of the plan, which will focus on taxes and federal spending, later this month.

In a phone interview with USA Today, Perry explained the energy initiatives are capable of creating new, high paying jobs while also aiming to “reduce our dependence on energy from nations that are all too often hostile to the United States.”

Perry’s energy plan will expand energy exploration and production on federal lands in areas such as Alaska and the Mountain West, along with permitting more offshore drilling in the Gulf and Atlantic, but it would continue to uphold the ban on drilling in the Florida Everglades, which not only faces ecological problems but also resides in a key primary state.  Perry would also approve the use of new pipelines, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to Texas, to facilitate new energy fields.

The plan will strip Environmental Protection Agency mandates and regulations currently impairing the energy sector, limit the ability of environmental activists to use the courts to interfere in the movement of key energy projects, and phase out subsidies and tax incentives that directly benefit very specific types of energy production.  This in turn would give states the ability to determine alternative energy development in which they would like to invest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain Dismisses Mitt Romney’s ‘So-Called’ Economic Plan

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(CONCORD, N.H.) -- On the campaign trail Wednesday, Herman Cain did not miss an opportunity to contrast himself with the candidate he is now challenging for the lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination -- Mitt Romney.

When asked what he thought of Romney’s suggestion at Tuesday night’s debate that Cain’s 9-9-9 economic plan was too simplistic, the businessman turned presidential hopeful called it a “put down.”

“A plan can be simple without being simple-minded,” Cain said.  “Someone once said, ‘simplicity is genius.’  I believe that’s why I was attacked so much.”

“I think that’s what’s driving a lot of people crazy.  They keep saying it’s too simple,” Cain said of his economic proposal.  “It’s simple, it’s transparent, it’s efficient, it’s fair and it’s neutral.  They’re having trouble with that.”

Cain went on to recall the moment when, at the debate, he challenged Romney to name the 59 points of his economic plan.

“His only response had to be, ‘well, you know not everything can be solved simplistically’ -- yes it can,” Cain told reporters at the Ninety Nine Restaurant in Concord.

“I used to run places like this,” said Cain, whose career includes stints as the CEO of Godfather’s pizza and as the head of the National Restaurant Association.  “I’ve had to count the inventory and balance out the cash register receipts at night.  I’ve had to be the last one in the restaurant to clean it up...I’ve been a hands-on businessman.”

And when it came to Romney’s solutions to getting the economy back on track, Cain continued to extol the virtues of simplicity.

“His so-called economic plan throws a lot of stuff in there that he’s trying to address.  The biggest thing that he doesn’t do is throw out the current tax code.  I throw out the tax code right away.”

Cain added, “You start throwing all this stuff in there, you’re going to end up with another 2,700 page bill...they’re not going to read it.  So, give them specific, clear solutions for the major issues that we face.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Plan: Buy Less, Pay Less

Steve Pope/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain is running for president as a businessman, and the recent Florida Straw Poll winner has got something to sell the American people -- an economic plan that anyone can understand.

Mitt Romney’s economic plan has 59 points and is bound into a 161-page book. President Obama's recently released jobs bill is 155 pages long.

Cain's has three easy to remember points.

Call him the "9-9-9 candidate." That’s his economic plan, and he touts the digits every time he gets a chance to speak at a debate or during an interview, drilling it in like an ad jingle. His plan is simple and easily understood, which might be a plus among voters.  Praised by supporters for both its simplicity and its specificity, Cain’s plan drops the current 35 percent corporate tax rate to 9 percent, swaps the six-bracket personal income tax system for a 9 percent flat tax and creates a 9 percent national sales tax.

"Our tax code is the 21st century version of slavery,” Cain said in a campaign video publicizing his 9-9-9 plan.  “We will replace oppression with prosperity.”

Cain’s 9-9-9 video concludes with text saying, “If 10% is good enough for God, then 9% should be just fine for the Federal Government.”

And while Cain is busy pushing his 9 percent tax plan, he has yet to reach 9 percent support in the polls.  In the latest CNN/ORC International Poll, 7 percent of Republicans and Independents said they would support Cain, putting him in a three-way tie for fourth place with Ron Paul and Sarah Palin.

He only ranks fourth in the latest national poll, but Cain is on a roll after he snagged the top spot at the Florida Straw poll this weekend.

Cain said he is hoping to combat his “who is Herman Cain?” problem with a new book -- coincidentally titled Who is Herman Cain? -- which is set to hit bookshelves in October.

Unlike the economic proposals of his fellow candidates, Cain’s would add a new tax to the code in the form of a consumption-based national sales tax.

Cain said this tax would give consumers more freedom because how much they decide to buy determines how much tax they pay.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio