Romney’s Unveils Boring 59-Point Jobs Plan With Few Fresh Ideas

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney previewed his 59-point jobs plan in an op-ed in USA Today seeking to draw contrast himself from President Barack Obama, who will introduce his own plan to a Joint Session of Congress on Thursday.”Barack Obama has had his turn at fixing the American economy. Millions of unemployed Americans can judge by their own experiences what he has done and failed to do,” he writes. “For my part, I believe America can do better.”

Romney follows former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman in presenting a comprehensive vision for promoting economic growth — but his plan offers few surprises beyond its trueness to GOP talking points, and may be seen as falling short of the “bold, sweeping and specific” plan he promised.

Romney’s plan goes out of its way to make space for a potential general election campaign, careful to qualify any potentially damaging statements to lessen their impact. He plays to the tea party, but doesn’t wholeheartedly embrace their politics.

For instance, he only wants to eliminate the capital gains tax for middle-income earners, and limits his calls for promoting domestic energy production to “everywhere it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns.”

Romney will formally announce his plan today in a 12:30 PDT speech in Nevada.

Via USA Today, here are the basics to Mitt Romney’s jobs plan:

  • Lower marginal tax rates; Elimination of interest, dividend and capital gains taxes for middle-income earners.
  • Lower the corporate tax rate. “I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation,” he writes.
  • Cut government regulations, including ObamaCare. Creating a net-zero cap to the cost of new regulations.
  • More free trade agreements — including the creation of the  “Reagan Economic Zone”
  • Tougher stance on China: “I will not stand by while China pursues an economic development policy that relies on the unfair treatment of U.S. companies and the theft of their intellectual property. I have no interest in starting a trade war with China, but I cannot accept our current trade surrender.”
  • More domestic energy production “everywhere it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns”
  • Lessening the influence of unions — including the safeguard of the secret ballot and pushback against the NLRB.
  • Federal balanced budget amendment
  • Cutting the size of the federal workforce: “While the private sector shed 1.8 million jobs since Barack Obama took office, the federal workforce grew by 142,500, or almost 7%. A rollback is urgently required.”