2012 Tuesday: Huntsman jobs plan breaks some ground, points to some common ground

One good thing about having a GOP presidential field with no obvious standout candidate (Rick Perry’s rapid rise notwithstanding) is that the eventual nominee will have a host of policy prescriptions and political arguments to co-opt from the also-rans. For instance, Tim Pawlenty broke some ground by suggesting strongly that it’s time to stop subsidizing the production of ethanol from Iowa corn, even if he didn’t make it long enough as a candidate to see the idea to implementation.

Along those lines, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman may be polling around 1 percent, but he’s got a top-tier plan to free up the private economy.

Huntsman unveiled the plan last week to rave reviews on the right. Among the highlights:

  • implementing the revenue-neutral “zero plan” from the Simpson-Bowles commission on debts and deficits (commissioned and then ignored by President Obama), which entails eliminating all personal deductions and credits and reducing individual income tax rates to three bands of 8 percent, 14 percent and 23 percent;
  • eliminating the alternative minimum tax, the original “millionaire’s tax” which now ensnares an increasing number of middle-class families;
  • ending the double taxation on capital gains and dividends;
  • cutting the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent and moving to a territorial tax system;
  • repealing Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform and Sarbanes-Oxley;
  • reforming regulatory agencies — from the Food and Drug Administration’s approval process to the patent system to the EPA’s “gross regulatory overreach”;
  • increasing domestic energy production through a host of proposals, including more drilling for oil and gas;
  • pursuing free trade agreements.

There’s a lot of common ground between Huntsman’s plan and the other candidate plan that’s been laid out in detail: Newt Gingrich’s. Specifically, the two agree on ending the capital gains tax; cutting the corporate income tax (though Gingrich would lower it to 12.5 percent); simplifying and flattening individual income taxes (Gingrich favors a flat 15 percent rate); repealing Obamacare, Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley; privatizing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; and modernizing the FDA.

The ground that Huntsman very conspicuously did not tread onto: entitlement reform. Gingrich included it in his “Jobs and the Economy” plan, and it’s possible that Huntsman will deal with it under a different policy heading. But the much-discussed Paul Ryan plan from the House GOP almost certainly means the eventual Republican nominee will have to take a stand on dealing with Social Security and Medicare.

Mitt Romney is due to release his jobs plan today, so we’ll see where his ideas overlap with the other candidates’. But the common ground outlined above suggests an emerging policy consensus among the GOP candidates that most likely will contrast sharply with the one President Obama proposes in his joint address to Congress on Thursday.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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218 comments Add your comment

Lil' Barry Bailout

September 6th, 2011
11:12 am

I guess if the Republicans propose this common-sense plan, we can count on Democrats to “obstruct” it. They’re bound and determined to see the Congress fail.

Hillbilly D

September 6th, 2011
11:14 am

The ground that Huntsman very conspicuously did not tread onto:

Ending tax breaks and credits for businesses. If you’re going to do it to individuals, do it to business, too.

Check these stats

September 6th, 2011
11:15 am

Sounds sensible, but if you’re going to end all personal deductions and credits then end all corporate subsidies and credits too. That’s a true free market. Succeed or fail on your own merits.

RGB

September 6th, 2011
11:19 am

Everyone has a jobs plan except Obama.

But in fairness, he does have a jobs speech–which to his followers is even better.

M

September 6th, 2011
11:20 am

Not enough revenues…must be time to cut taxes again.

Hillbilly D

September 6th, 2011
11:22 am

Comments are closed on Wooten and Barr’s blogs and I can’t get a comment through on this one. What’s the deal?

ByteMe

September 6th, 2011
11:23 am

•repealing Obamacare, the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform and Sarbanes-Oxley;

Because not having those worked reeeeeeally well, right? I notice he doesn’t say “replace them with X”, but just outright repeal them and let the corporations continue to screw us over.

And he was the “centrist” of the bunch. :roll:

Rafe Hollister

September 6th, 2011
11:25 am

Sensible solutions, rather than more of the redistributing zero sum nonsense Oblamer will read to us on Thursday.

Rural Education

September 6th, 2011
11:26 am

Not a one of these proposals will create a single American job. Trickle down is a failed policy.

carlosgvv

September 6th, 2011
11:28 am

Kyle, you are so naive. Conservative Republicans don’t want candidates with good “policy prescriptions”. They also have no interest in an “emerging policy consensus”. They want a stylish candidate who can sway the simple Republican electorate with anti-Obama propaganda and one who can make impossible politicial promises that only the mindless will believe.

Rafe Hollister

September 6th, 2011
11:29 am

The Dems will oppose any of these GOP ideas. They are so far up the river with their failed policies on the economy, they had rather continue failing, than risk being seen as flip floppers. They will keep the pedal to the floor right off the cliff.

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:30 am

Obamacare will be repealed….easily. Thank God.

Rafe Hollister

September 6th, 2011
11:30 am

carlos, speaking of mindless….

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:33 am

Hoffa calls for war against the tea party. The victory will be in 2012.

Jefferson

September 6th, 2011
11:38 am

None of the GOP plans will work in reality. Sorry, they just won’t work. If they are worried about the deficit, they don’t need to cut revenue, haven’t they learned that yet?

SaveOurRepublic

September 6th, 2011
11:39 am

These are just superficial “band aid” options. These Globalist pawns could really bring the economy back (if they weren’t co-opt’d by the Globalists) via….1) abolishing the private “Federal” Reserve, 2) repealing NAFTA & CAFTA & 3) enact trade tariffs on any/all nations that do so on U.S. exports. The puppets on “Cr@pitol sHill” are supposed to be representing our Constitutional Republic…NOT the “Global(ist)” community.

Steve

September 6th, 2011
11:42 am

Repeal Obama and replace it with ????? Remember, the Republican’s best friends are the insurance companies who will screw each and every one of you to the wall.

roughrider

September 6th, 2011
11:45 am

The only thing that will help our economy is to put a hefty tarrif on goods sold in our country that were made elswhere. That will get companies back to building manufacturing plants here instead of overseas or Mexico.

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:45 am

Steve….who says we need to replace it with anything?

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:46 am

ROUGHRIDER>>>>>>AMEN!!!

jt

September 6th, 2011
11:46 am

“Tweaking” or “reforming” the current tax code, EPA, and FDA is for frightened little euroweenie statists.
.
There is only one Candidate who proposes the ELIMINATION of all of the above.
.
I will not name him because I do not wish to frighten all of the metro/federo-sexuals here.
.
How did we become such a nation of wimps?

dbm

September 6th, 2011
11:51 am

The only thing the GOP knows how to do is say “no”. They don’t even know why they say it sometimes. Maybe Jesus told them to? It’s more annoying than the fiasco that is our Global Economy, crooked banks who buy politicians and a housing problem that isn’t going away anytime soon.

If you’re not part of the solution.. you’re the problem.. and Congress (GOP) is a big part of the problem right now.

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:54 am

dbm…..trust me we know….Obama has been the problem for over two years.

Chief Media Urologist

September 6th, 2011
11:54 am

If Huntsman’s plans meant anything, he’d be polling at more than 1%. Let’s hear Perry’s jobs plan. Or Bachmann’s. They’re as bereft of ideas as Obama.

carlosgvv

September 6th, 2011
11:55 am

Rafe Hollister – “speaking of mindless”

Being honest about yourself is always a good idea.

Pamela

September 6th, 2011
11:56 am

Once again ignorant comments. Anyway…the Republicans are the reason why we are in this jobless mess. You can’t blame President Obama for this. 8 years of Bush in the white house is what caused all of this mess! I REFUSE to vote Republican ever again! OBAMA 2012 :)

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:58 am

Pamela….such a tired ignorant arguement. Look at the jobless numbers when Bush left office versus where they are now. When are you going to stop looking in the rearview and start trying to get this country moving forward.

M

September 6th, 2011
11:58 am

Eliminating the EPA and FDA will be the sign that it’s time to leave. Enjoy your asbestos and lead sandwiches.

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
11:58 am

Probably as well written as Obama’s deficit plan….OH WAIT, HE DIDNT HAVE ONE!!! CLOWN!

cs

September 6th, 2011
12:00 pm

yes yes yes..more gop kookyness.

Common Sense

September 6th, 2011
12:01 pm

“but if you’re going to end all personal deductions and credits then end all corporate subsidies and credits too”

But that is how Congress tries to pick the winners and losers in Corporate America.

Do you really believe that they could sit back and watch capitalism work on [t’s own?

I doubt it. They prefer to think they are making it happen.

american for justice

September 6th, 2011
12:02 pm

This sounds like a plan to take the remaining wealth and power from the bottom 90% and give it to the top 10%. The middle class are the ones who spend money and make jobs. Giving all the money to the wealthy has not worked to make jobs in the past and it won’t in the future. I am a democrat losing faith in Obama but this plan is a disaster.

Kyle Wingfield

September 6th, 2011
12:02 pm

Hillbilly D @ 11:22, and anyone else curious: As part of the changes in the AJC’s columnist lineup announced in Sunday’s paper, Jim Wooten and Bob Barr are no longer writing columns or blogs for us. You’ll still be able to read their past blogs online, but commenting on them has ended.

The new columnist lineup for print is outlined here: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/2011/09/02/94-balanced-views-in-print-every-day/

We also have a new “Atlanta Forward” blog that you can access here: http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-forward/

And finally, Hillbilly: I’ve pushed through your earlier comment, which got hung up for reasons unrelated to all this.

dixiedemons

September 6th, 2011
12:04 pm

Trickle Down Voodoo Economics……… It works when Americans can borrow and spend to buy things they don’t need. Is the solution to keep trying to crank the consumer spending machine back ??? A lot of folks will not take the bait anymore. We are are in a every man for himself environment and the current group of candidates running for office are a great of example of what has gone wrong in our country.

Chief Media Urologist

September 6th, 2011
12:04 pm

And when President Michelle Bachmann fails to deliver the jobs….it will be Obama’s fault.

And when President Rick Perry fails to deliver the jobs…it will be the Democrats’ in Congress fault.

And when President Sarah Palin fails to deliver the jobs….it will be Bill Clinton’s fault.

And when President Mitt Romney fails to deliver the jobs…it will be the mainstream media’s fault.

Whatever these jokers are telling us today….use history to predict the future.

brad

September 6th, 2011
12:05 pm

Hey, 99, why don’t you head back over to the football blogs. More suited to your intellectual level.

Lil' Barry Bailout

September 6th, 2011
12:05 pm

“Giving all the money to the wealthy has not worked”
——————-

Someone help me out here–which part of Huntsman’s plan takes anything from anyone and gives it to someone else?

Didn’t think so.

EJ Moosa

September 6th, 2011
12:06 pm

No Pamela,

Democrats detest profits.

Profit growth is why corporations increase hiring.

So as you destroy the profit engine, you should not really be shocked that job growth in the private sector is sub par.

Are Democrats willing to embrace profit growth as the necessary ingredient to the economic equation?

How many times do you think Obama will mention profits in his speech in a manner that shows he supports profit growth?

I suggest 0.

Now how many times will he reference corporate profits, retained corporate profits that the companies now possess in a negative reference?

I’ll go ahead and say at least a half dozen times….

M

September 6th, 2011
12:08 pm

If profit growth directly leads to corporate hiring, we should be importing people to work all the jobs that have been created.

Wait, you mean we’re not?

Chief Media Urologist

September 6th, 2011
12:08 pm

Goodbye, Mr. Wooten and Mr. Barr. I’ve enjoyed your blogs over the years, in spite of the fact that neither one of you is Thinking Right.

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
12:09 pm

Brad….I am doing just fine thank you very much. Unlike Barack and his approval ratings!! ha

Lil' Barry Bailout

September 6th, 2011
12:09 pm

Profits don’t guarantee jobs will be created.

Losses guarantee that they won’t.

Keep taxing and regulating. That works, right?

Jefferson

September 6th, 2011
12:10 pm

$2 gas, Bachann is the smartest !!!

M

September 6th, 2011
12:11 pm

Let’s go back to Clinton-level taxes. You know, when we ran surpluses.

UGA 1999

September 6th, 2011
12:12 pm

M…..he who ran the congress during the Clinton years?

BW

September 6th, 2011
12:13 pm

Sounds like same ole same ole…basically all blame for the economy is shifted to Obama’s new programs (all of which have not been fully implemented) and cutting tax rates. Sounds like what John McCain essentially ran on to me. President Obama may have ignored but that was after the committee organized to push it through Congress killed it. I’d rather wait to see what this new super committee will come up with that listen to the GOP candidate at this point as their tunes will change with the super committee findings. This will be about all parties falling on the sword at the same time…that’s all it is about right now. Both parties are too paralzyed but partisanship at the moment. It will be interesting to see what will happen if Obama is voted out but either House is recaptured by the Democrats or the Senate is retained by the Democrats. Will they require a 60 vote threshold for everything as is now the norm? The real conversation doesn’t begin until the “reform” of entitlements is laid on the table for all to see as part as on the super committee budget cutting instruments.

Chief Media Urologist

September 6th, 2011
12:13 pm

M
The only way to get the attention of this crowd is to cease calling them “Clinton tax levels” and call them the “GOP Congress of the 1990’s” tax levels. These folks get rabid if you don’t give them full credit for all successes and divest blame for any failures.

EJ Moosa

September 6th, 2011
12:13 pm

Sorry M, we downsized America first as profits fell through the floor.

It takes year over year profit growth of 6 1/2 % to generate private sector hiring one year later. And we have been experiencing that.

Year over year private sector employment is indeed higher. But the growth has fallen sharply and 1 year from now we will have declining private sector employment.

Companies do not turn on a dime. Annual budgets are already done for 2012 based on what is happening now. And what is happening now is declining profit growth.

EJ Moosa

September 6th, 2011
12:14 pm

M,

We never had budget surpluses. Budget surpluses were forecast with OMB’s static budget forecasting.

But if you check, every year we had higher total debt levels. If there was even one budget surplus year. then total debt would have fallen.

M

September 6th, 2011
12:15 pm

Yeah, Apple should sit on that $78 billion. When it hits $100 billion, they can open a new store.