The New Hampshire primaries are less than a day away, and despite a last-minute push by Iowa star Rick Santorum to redirect attention to social issues, the economy remains foremost on voters' minds.
Check the International Business Times throughout the day for overviews of the candidates' economic plans. First up is Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and presumptive front-runner, who holds a commanding double-digit lead in New Hampshire. (Click here for a comprehensive look at Romney's platform.)
Romney on job creation:
- Repeal the 2010 health care reform law and the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulatory law.
- Set a zero-dollar regulatory cap, meaning any government agency that wanted to create a new regulation would have to neutralize the cost by loosening existing regulations.
- Sign the Colombia, Panama and South Korea Free Trade Agreements.
- Delegate federal worker retraining programs to the states.
- Expedite the citizenship process for student visa holders who earn degrees in math, science or engineering.
Romney on tax reform:
- Reduce individual income tax rates by an unspecified amount by broadening the base, or taxing more people.
- Reduce the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent immediately, and eventually reduce it further (final rate unspecified).
- Eliminate taxes on capital gains, interest, dividends and estates.
- Switch to a territorial tax system in which multinational corporations only pay taxes on income earned in the United States.
Romney on entitlement reform:
- Block-grant Medicaid funds to the states and cap its spending to save $100 billion.
- Increase the eligibility age for Social Security benefits.
- Partially privatize Medicare by giving seniors a fixed amount of money to buy coverage either through the government or through a private insurer.
- Apply reforms only to future Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid recipients; leave benefits for current recipients unchanged.
Romney on health care reform:
- Issue an executive order to exempt states from as many of the requirements of Barack Obama's 2010 health care law as possible.
- Repeal Obamacare while retaining certain popular provisions, like the ban on discrimination based on pre-existing conditions.
- Expand health savings accounts, which allow individuals to put aside untaxed money for health care.
- Give people who buy their own insurance the same tax deduction as those who buy insurance through an employer.
- Let workers choose whether to keep their employer-based insurance or buy their own.
Romney's full economic plan is available on his Web site.