Summary of Republican Presidential Debate Economic Issues:
Their economic platforms are consistent with conservative supply-side economics. This theory states that reducing government spending and taxes are enough to unfetter business growth. The resultant economic growth will increase tax revenues enough to reduce the budget deficit. The candidates were asked questions on a variety of economic issues.
Why They Feel They Are the Best Candidate to Beat Obama:
- Paul: Is for a limited government, an idea popular with Americans.
- Romney: Is the candidate for extraordinary change, scale back size of government, maintain military strength abroad, cut back bailouts.
- Gingrich: Participated in the Reagan Administration and the Republican Contract with America. Prefers paychecks to food stamps, and a strong defense.
- Santorum: Opposes Wall Street bailouts, and top-down health care, handouts vs new jobs.
Reform Entitlement Programs:
- Santorum: People are angry about Obamacare. They don't want to be forced to buy health care, which is a commercial decision.
- Gingrich: Advocates replacing Social Security, welfare and Medicare with private sector solutions.
- Paul: Wants to cut spending on these entitlement programs.
- Romney: Reduce Medicare except for current seniors.
Candidates' Positions on Tax Reform:
- Gingrich: Supports a 15% flat tax rate and eliminating the capital gains tax.
- Santorum: Wants to simplify the tax code, but doesn't support the flat tax, or reducing the capital gains tax to zero.
- Romney: Was attacked for his wealth, and paying low taxes. Said he was proud of being successful, and wasn't going to run from it. In favor of lowering the corporate tax rate to 25%.
- Paul: Reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, and replace income taxes with excise and import taxes.
Tax cuts to corporations don't trickle-down to workers. Companies have reported great earnings over the last two years, but haven't created jobs because they are too uncertain about the economy. They are, instead, paying shareholders with higher dividends.
Increase Trade Between U.S. and Latin America:
- Romney: More free trade agreements. Help people in Cuba enjoy freedom.
- Paul: Supports free trade and reduced military involvement overseas. "Strongly believe it's time we have friendship and trade with Cuba."
- Gingrich: Facilitate freedom in Cuba with non-military power.
- Santorum: Opposes Obama's policy in Latin America, especially with Honduras.
Phase Out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:
Is Romney or Gingrich Closer to Reagan?:
What Was Missing From the Debate:
What's needed to boost demand? Focus government spending on creating construction jobs, the most cost effective unemployment solution. Second, stop another wave of foreclosures that will hit in 2012. Homeowners feel poorer they've lost their home or at least equity in their home. None of the candidates proposed how to reduce the shadow inventory of foreclosures that overhangs the housing market. This problem must be solved to truly get the U.S. economy back on track.(Article updated January 27, 2012)
Compare the 2012 Presidential Candidates on the Economy
- Newt Gingrich
- Barack Obama
- Ron Paul
- Mitt Romney
- Former Candidate Michele Bachmann
- Former Candidate Herman Cain
- Former Candidate Rick Perry