First, President Obama has raised or threatened to raise taxes on both individuals and businesses. I would press hard in the opposite direction. Marginal income tax rates and tax rates on savings and investment must be kept low. Further, taxes on interest, dividends and capital gains for middle-income taxpayers should be eliminated. Our corporate tax rate is among the world’s highest. It leaves U.S. firms at a competitive disadvantage and induces them to park their profits abroad, benefiting the rest of the world at our expense. I will fix these problems with permanent solutions. Ultimately, I will press for a total overhaul of our overly complex and inefficient system of taxation.
With scant regard for the costs imposed on consumers and businesses, President Obama has vastly expanded the regulatory reach of government. The federal government has estimated the price tag for its regulations at $1.75 trillion. I will pare back regulation, including eliminating “ObamaCare.” I will direct every government agency to limit annual increases in regulatory costs to zero. The impact of any proposed new regulation must be offset by removing another regulation of equivalent cost. Every one of President Obama’s regulations must be scrutinized, and those that unduly burden job creation must be axed.
Where President Obama left America’s trade interests untended, I recognize the job-creating potential of international commerce. I will create the “Reagan Economic Zone,” a partnership among countries committed to free enterprise and free trade. It will serve as a powerful engine for opening markets to our goods and services, and also a mechanism for confronting nations like China that violate trade rules while free-riding on the international system. I will not stand by while China pursues an economic development policy that relies on the unfair treatment of U.S. companies and the theft of their intellectual property. I have no interest in starting a trade war with China, but I cannot accept our current trade surrender.
The Obama administration has severely restricted domestic energy production. I will ensure we utilize to the fullest extent our nation’s nuclear know-how and immense reserves in oil, gas and coal. By rationalizing and streamlining regulation, we will harness these resources everywhere it can be done safely, taking into account local concerns. A huge number of jobs is at stake. So, too, is the price of energy, which strongly influences economic growth. We are an energy-rich country that, thanks to environmental extremism, has chosen to live like an energy-poor country. That has to end.