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Romney: We Need To Put The Brakes On The Stimulus Plan

Mitt Romney is asked what he thinks the Obama administration needs to do to stimulate the economy and surprise, surprise...he recommends more tax cuts
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Mitt Romney is asked what he thinks the Obama administration needs to do to stimulate the economy and surprise, surprise...he recommends more tax cuts. How'd those tax cuts work out under George W. Bush Mitt? Of course Romney also thinks we need to get rid of the stimulus plan which wasn't big enough in the first place. Let the private sector take care of everything. It will all work out just fine.

I'll take Paul Krugman's advice over Romney's any day--The Jobs Imperative:

So it’s time for an emergency jobs program.

How is a jobs program different from a second stimulus? It’s a matter of priorities. The 2009 Obama stimulus bill was focused on restoring economic growth. It was, in effect, based on the belief that if you build G.D.P., the jobs will come. That strategy might have worked if the stimulus had been big enough — but it wasn’t. And as a matter of political reality, it’s hard to see how the administration could pass a second stimulus big enough to make up for the original shortfall.

So our best hope now is for a somewhat cheaper program that generates more jobs for the buck. Such a program should shy away from measures, like general tax cuts, that at best lead only indirectly to job creation, with many possible disconnects along the way. Instead, it should consist of measures that more or less directly save or add jobs.

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Transcript via CNN.

KING: What should the president do in the short term? A lot of Republicans have said we're in this deficit, we can't run up more deficits. What should he do in the short term to create jobs?

ROMNEY: Well, put the brakes on the stimulus plan. Stop spending money on government, and instead create incentives for businesses to buy things and to hire people, by, for instance, having a more robust investment tax credit, by letting businesses expense capital expenditures in the first year for the next year or two, by lowering the payroll tax. At the same time, stop all the talk about cap-and- trade. That holds back job growth.

And of course, this plan to take over the health care system means that about one-fifth of the economy has put its brakes on and is not willing to invest because they're so concerned.

Look, the president has to recognize that the only way we're going to get this economy going again is by encouraging the private sector rather than continuing to grow government. Massive deficits and growth of government is not the answer.

KING: Let's look at some of the proposals he will lay out on Tuesday. It sounds like you'd agree with some of them. I'm guessing you don't think they go far enough, but here is what we are told the president will do at his job summit ideas. A cash for caulkers, they're now calling it, people weatherize their home. You give them some incentives. The idea is you get more energy-efficient homes, and you also hire people to come in and put in the new windows and take the other steps.

Tax credits for businesses who hire new workers -- payroll tax holiday. Access to TARP -- that's the bailout funds -- for small banks, and an extension of unemployment benefits.

Is that a good down payment, a good plan, in your view?

ROMNEY: A number of those things reflect a good start. But they're not going to get the economy going again alone. You're going to have to have something far more substantial than that. And by the way, TARP has served its purpose. TARP ought to be ended. We've got hundreds of billions of dollars there that is being used as a slush fund by Secretary Geithner and the Obama administration. Stop the TARP recklessness at this point and get ourselves back to creating jobs by encouraging businesses to grow, expand their capital expenditures and hire.

And by the way, when you give people special incentives just to hire new employees; of course you give them an incentive to let current employees go.

The best thing to do is to lower the payroll tax and to give businesses tax credits for making investment.

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