Mitt Romney has introduced his jobs plan. At a glance, it’s everything Obama’s will not be. It is detailed, it is serious and it’s quite good.
Five Bills for Day One
The American Competitiveness Act: Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent
The Open Markets Act: Implements the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements
The Domestic Energy Act: Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration
The Retraining Reform Act: Consolidates the sprawl of federal retraining programs and returns funding and responsibility for these programs to the states
The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act: Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, reducing the annual federal budget by $20 billion
Five Executive Orders for Day One
An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare: Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them
An Order to Cut Red Tape: Directs all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy or job creation, and then caps annual increases in regulatory costs at zero dollars
An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production: Directs the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areas
An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices: Directs the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency
An Order to Empower American Businesses and Workers: Reverses the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor, including the one encouraging the use of union labor on major government construction projects.
Open markets, fiscal sanity…I remember those. The $20 billion spending cut is nowhere near enough, and I’m not sold on hitting China (persuadable, but not sold). The rest hits many of the right notes. Mitt Romney is calling for nothing less than rolling back everything Obama has done since taking office while moving the ball farther toward free markets, and that’s an agenda that most Americans can get behind. The rest of Romney’s exhaustive plan is posted on his campaign web site.
Mitt Romney has set up a bad week for President Obama. If the president’s NFL kickoff jobs speech isn’t as detailed, clear and serious as Romney’s is — and most signs are that it won’t be — then Obama looks like what he is, a man out of his depth on the largest problem he faces. And if the president does get specific and detailed, he will either look like he’s following Romney’s lead, or doubling down on ideas that have already failed.