Jon Huntsman, who continues to lag in national polls but has staked his campaign on a strong finish in New Hampshire, came out on Thursday with a seven-point plan to restore trust in Washington.
In a speech on Thursday, the former Utah governor accused both President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents of being unable to restore faith in government.
The American people have lost trust, first and foremost, in the president -- a president who, rather than focusing like a laser on fixing our economic core, wasted an entire year jamming through a health care plan the American people didn't ask for and can't afford, Huntsman said. He promised to change Washington, and then immediately succumbed to the partisanship, corporate handouts, bailouts and spending that have made it so reviled.
His plan, which is available in full on his Web site, consists of seven points:
1. Reform the tax code. Huntsman wants to eliminate all loopholes and subsidies from the current tax code and lower tax rates across the board for both individual filers and businesses.
2. Lower the national debt. He wants to cut spending in every corner of government, leaving no sacred cow untouched. Specifically, he wants to cut entitlement spending through the reform plan proposed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., earlier this year.
3. Eliminate too big to fail. If a bank or other financial corporation is too big to fail, in that allowing it to fail would cause economic disaster, Huntsman wants to break it up into smaller entities so that never again are taxpayers held hostage by a Sophie's Choice: massive bailouts or economic calamity.
4. Energy reform. Huntsman's plan calls for the elimination of all energy subsidies and a variety of other measures to make the United States independent of foreign oil and level the playing field for competing fuels and technologies.
5. Reform federal regulations. Huntsman wants to repeal a number of Obama-era regulations that he believes hinder job creation, including the 2010 health care reform law, the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law and unspecified Environmental Protection Agency regulations, and limit the passage of new regulations.
6. End the war in Afghanistan. Huntsman wants to bring most American troops home from Afghanistan, but leave an appropriately sized counterterrorist presence, and update the United States' strategy there to be based on long-term threats and vulnerabilities.
7. Congressional reform. Huntsman says he will propose a Citizen Legislature Act, which would restrict lobbying and set term limits for members of Congress in order to lessen the influence of special interests.