NEW YORK (AP) — Mitt Romney said Wednesday that President Barack Obama's policies have made it harder for small businesses to grow and hire new workers.
The Republican presidential candidate told members of the National Federation of Independent Business that Obama's policies on energy, trade, health care and other issues are "an anti-business, anti-job agenda."
Romney spoke to NFIB members by phone from San Antonio. The membership of the lobbying group consists of 350,000 small business owners, many of whom have just a handful of employees.
Romney reiterated criticism he has made of Obama administration's policies throughout the campaign. He said the administration has driven up the price of energy and made it harder for U.S. businesses to sell goods and services overseas. He said the health care overhaul has stopped businesses from hiring more workers. And he said businesses were being hurt by the "ever-growing intrusiveness of federal regulations."
Asked by one NFIB member what he would do to ease regulations, Romney said that on his first day in office, he would issue an executive order that would put on hold all regulations created under the Obama administration that weren't yet implemented. He said he would also order that "any agency that seeks to add a regulation must eliminate one of equal size." And he said he would insist that what he called large regulations would have to be approved by Congress.
"Just changing the attitude of the regulators makes a difference," he said.
Romney reiterated his proposal to lower the top individual tax rate — which affects many small business owners — to 28 percent. The rate is scheduled to rise to 39.6 percent at the end of the year. Romney also repeated his plan to drop the corporate tax rate to 25 percent from its current 35 percent.