Posted Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2012, at 4:08 PM
TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 28: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's wife, Ann Romney speaks on stage for a soundcheck before the start of the second day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Lots of economists believe that low marginal tax rates are extremely important to human flourishing, and even though there's a lot that's unclear in the 2012 campaign it's perfectly obvious that a Romney administration will deliver lower marginal tax rates than an Obama administration. So it's no surprise to see that there are lots of Economists for Romney out with a hot new website.
The actual content is interesting too, in particular this six point Romney agenda:
— Reduce marginal tax rates on business and wage incomes and broaden the tax base to increase investment, jobs, and living standards.
— End the exploding federal debt by controlling the growth of spending so federal spending does not exceed 20 percent of the economy.
— Restructure regulation to end “too big to fail,” improve credit availability to entrepreneurs and small businesses, and increase regulatory accountability, and ensure that all regulations pass rigorous benefit-cost tests.
— Improve our Social Security and Medicare programs by reducing their growth to sustainable levels, ensuring their viability over the long term, and protecting those in or near retirement.
— Reform our healthcare system to harness market forces and thereby reduce costs and increase quality, empowering patients and doctors, rather than the federal bureaucracy.
— Promote energy policies that increase domestic production, enlarge the use of all western hemisphere resources, encourage the use of new technologies, end wasteful subsidies, and rely more on market forces and less on government planners.
Most of these points seem to me to lay the choice out in this campaign pretty clearly and accurately. Romney is definitely the candidate of lower tax rates, most likely the candidate of lower aggregate federal spending, definitely the candidate who's more enthusiastic about cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, and unquestionably the candidate whose approach to health care won't be marred by concern for the poor, and the proponent of an energy policy that's indifferent to pollution or climate change. Whether all things considered that makes him the better candidate is for the people to decide.
But as a reporter, I really have to object to the first clause Point 3. There's simply no evidence that Romney has any kind of policy solution that would "end 'too big to fail'" and the text of the statement leaves it very unclear what the authors even think that means. Romney's only policy agenda on financial regulation is to return us to the pre-Obama status quo.
Last, though it's not surprising it is disappointing that there's nothing on monetary policy here. Insofar as people are concerned about the short-term jobs picture, monetary policy remains the most important weapon in the arsenal.