The 57th United States presidential election has once again predictably narrowed down to only two realistic presidential candidates: the incumbent, President Barack Obama for the Democrats, and Gov. Mitt Romney, for the Republicans. Accordingly, we've compiled the most comprehensive database of their positions on all the topics and all the issues to assist you, the electorate, in casting your vote on November 6. Just scroll down below the introductions and click one of the 29 issues and 12 profile categories to compare the political stances and biographical data of 2012 Presidential Candidates.
Update: Romney became the second Republican presidential candidate, after Jon Huntsman, to offer a full-fledged detailed economic plan when he announced a 59-point job and economic proposal during a speech at the McCandless International Trucks dealership in Nevada, Las Vegas on September 6, 2011. Called 'Day One, Job One', the plan's main objective would be to "restore America to the path of robust economic growth necessary to create jobs.".
If elected, Romney pledged to initiate 10 major actions on the first day of his presidency, consisting of five Bills and 5 Executive Orders, which are
5 Bills For Day One
• The American Competitiveness Act
Reduces the corporate income tax rate to 25%
• The Open Markets Act
Implements Free Trade Agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea
• The Domestic Energy Act
Directs the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive energy review
• The Retraining Reform Act
Consolidates federal retraining programs and return these programs to the states
• The Down Payment on Fiscal Sanity Act
Immediately cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent ($20 billion)
5 Executive Orders For Day One An Order to Pave the Way to End Obamacare
• Secretary of Health and Human Services to return the maximum possible authority to the states An Order to Cut Red Tape
• All agencies to initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that burden the economy or job creation An Order to Boost Domestic Energy Production
• Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to An Order to Sanction China for Unfair Trade Practices
• Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator and the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports 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
“Today, I’m introducing a plan consisting of 59 specific proposals — including 10 concrete actions I will take on my first day in office — to turn around America’s economy. Each proposal is rooted in the conservative premise that government itself cannot create jobs.”
“And change is going to have to begin with us, in our party. We're the party of change. We are the party of fiscal responsibility, and when Republicans act like Democrats, America loses. And you've seen that over the last several years.
We're going to have to make sure that we rein in spending. It's not just the -- we -- we all agree on the -- the earmarks and the pork barrel spending and the "Bridge to Nowhere." That's -- that's an easy one to take a shot at. But the big one is entitlements and reining in entitlement costs, and that's -- that's where the big dollars are.
And then you go on to say how are we going to bring down taxation, because we have the highest tax rate, next to Japan, in the world. That's -- that hurts our economy.
What you're seeing in a weakening dollar, in a declining stock market, in -- in foreign countries coming here to -- to buy into our banks, you're seeing an underground -- the foundation of our economy being shaken by the fact that we haven't been doing the job that needs to be done in Washington. And I'm going to Washington to change Washington.”
January 24, 2008, Republican Presidential Debate, Boca Raton Florida
Deficit "It is instead however an objective for us to balance our budget and to take in as much money as we spent. How do you do that? Well you have to cut back on spending and I propose, I don't know if the other candidates are willing to sign for the same pledge, and that is, I'm going to take non-military discretionary spending and I'm gonna say I'm gonna cap that at inflation less one percent. So, one percent lower than inflation and that saves us 300 billion dollars over the next ten years. And that’s one commitment that I made, that’s what I’m gonna do. (If) Congress sends me appropriations bill which exceeds that amount, I will veto them. I like vetoing.
But I am a fiscal conservative. I believe in cutting spending and cutting taxes."
April 03, 2007, New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women's Lilac Dinner
Debts "I'd like to start by balancing our budget and get it to a point where we stop spending more than we take in our national debt you know is huge in its total scale and actually eliminating of the national debt is not something I would put down as an objective in the first four years that’s for sure."
April 03, 2007, New Hampshire Federation of Republican Women's Lilac Dinner
Romney, who prides himself on being a pragmatic and successful businessman, is a proponent of Reaganomics.
"The last time we had a recession, in the Bush years, President Bush recognized the best thing you can do is lower taxes and put forward a tax bill. And John McCain was one of only two Republicans to vote against it, and said he'd go back and vote against it again if he could.
He does not understand the first lesson of Reaganomics, which is, you cut taxes to grow the economy.”
January 27, 2008, CNN Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer
Johnson’s reputation as one of the most economically successful Republican governor of the last couple of decades accords his opinions and arguments on the subject with a certain degree of weight. He believes that the American economy is inherently mismanaged and teetering on the brink of a major collapse, and can only be stabilized by implementing a three pronged approach involving spending cuts, tax cuts and minimizing federal interference in the national economy.
# 1 Cut Spending
This recession has forced families and businesses across America to make hard choices and limit their expenditures. We must now expect our elected officials to make the tough calls that will keep our government on a sustainable path moving forward. We must restrain spending across the board:
• Revise the terms of entitlement programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, which threaten to bankrupt the nation's future.
• Eliminate the costly and ineffective military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan; limit defense spending to actions that truly protect the United States.
• Stop spending on the fiscal stimulus, transportation, energy, housing, and all other special interests. The U.S. must restrain spending across the board.
# 2 Cut Taxes
The U.S. tax system imposes an enormous toll on productivity through high marginal rates, absurd complexity, loopholes for the well-connected, and incentives for wasteful decisions. A better, fairer system will be:
• Abolish the Internal Revenue Service.
• Enact the Fair Tax to tax expenditures, rather than income, with a 'prebate' to make spending on basic necessities tax free.
• With the Fair Tax, eliminate business taxes, withholding and other levies that penalize productivity, while creating millions of jobs.
• Suggested Reading: www.FairTax.org
# 3 Reduce Federal Involvement in the Economy
Much federal intervention is a payout to special interests or counterproductive meddling that stifles competition, innovation, and growth.
• Reject auto and banking bailouts, state bailouts, corporate welfare, cap-and-trade, card check, and the mountain of regulation that protects special interests rather than benefiting consumers or the economy.
• Restrict Federal Reserve policy to maintaining price stability, not bailing out financial firms or propping up the housing sector.
• Eliminate government support of Fannie and Freddie.
• Reduce or eliminate federal involvement in education; let states expand successful reforms such as vouchers and charter schools.
• Legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, rather than wasting money on an expensive and futile prohibition.
• Eliminate needless barriers to free trade and make it easier for would-be legal immigrants to apply for work visas.
Source: Campaign Website, garyjohnson2012.com/issues/economy-and-taxes Bill Hemmer: If you were to be the nominee, what’s your plan for the economy?
Gary Johnson: Well, balance the budget first and foremost. So Gary Johnson would submit a balanced budget for the year 2013. I would eliminate the federal corporate income tax, reestablished this country as the only place to grow business, nurture business. And then regarding our own taxes, eliminate the income tax, eliminate the IRS, replace it with a consumption based fair tax, which by all reckoning from a free market economist, would actually be just that.
Hemmer: You’re cutting across the board when it comes to taxes, just about every area. Now when you were Governor of New Mexico, did you cut taxes?
Johnson: You know, cut taxes but not as significantly as I think they should have been cut. What I did provide in New Mexico was certainty, and that’s another component when it comes to the federal government, to provide certainty to business.
Right now we’re not building coal-fired electrical generation facilities because of the uncertainty regarding cap and trade, environmentally. How much is it gonna actually cost to build these new coal fired plants? Because of that, I think there’s an example of potentially hundreds of thousands of jobs that could be brought online just removing that uncertainty.
Hemmer: Back on the tax issue, how much, by what percentage, did you cut taxes in your home state?
Johnson: Well, I would argue not nearly enough. When I talk about fair tax,
Hemmer: You have a number?
Johnson: I think a $114 million. More significantly was the fact that I would’ve vetoed 750 pieces of legislations. I would’ve add thousands of line item vetoes that really gave certainty to business and it wasn’t gonna get worse. Because I ran state government, because I ran the agencies, there was really certainty that actually things were better.
Hemmer: I saw that on your record. I also saw that you cut a thousand state jobs. Why was that necessary?
Johnson: Well, just managed attrition, that was all. The notion that government could be more efficient. And I think that cutting 1,200 state jobs over an eight year period, that never happened before. I think that spoke volumes to government state employees doing a better job with fewer people.
June 23, 2011: Johnson on Fox News Insider with Bill Hemmer
Neil Cavuto: What do you make of this plan some Democrats are looking at, that is, making spending part of that discussion?
Gary Johnson: Really, I just see it as more of the same. President Johnson -- that would be me -- would propose a balanced budget for the year 2013. I would eliminate the corporate income tax, recognizing that it’s a double tax, and reestablishing this country as the only place to grow, nurture, develop, develop business.
I think if you just take the stimulus over the last couple of years, pretend like we didn’t do that, and if we would’ve applied that to the elimination of the corporate income tax, I think we would be seeing some real results from those seeds being planted a couple of years ago.
Cavuto: Governor, there’s always a gap between the cut in taxes and the revenue generated to Washington. In the interim, in the loss of that tax revenue, you have a dip. In other words, deficits get worse. Now, the money comes in, like gangbusters, actually, but, in Washington’s past, it is spent equally fast in Washington. How, as president, would you stop that?
Johnson: Well, I think that you point out a reality. And taking that reality, do you spend more money in ways that are, I think, a proven wrong with the last two stimulus packages? How about apply it to real fundamental change, like I say, eliminating the corporate income tax, provide certainty when it comes to business, something that government really can do?
If you just look at the coal-fired electrical generation industry, we’re not building new coal-fired plants because of the uncertainty of CO2 emissions and what ultimately these plants are gonna cost. Just do away with that uncertainty; I think you are talking hundreds of thousands of jobs. And then, when it comes to taxes for you and I, I think we should be looking at eliminating the income tax, the IRS, and replacing it with a consumption tax, a fair tax, which, by all free market economists’ reckoning, really is just that. A fair tax would promote taxes, the notion of fairness and the notion of savings.
June 22, 2011: Johnson on Your World with Neil Cavuto