The economy, and in particular small business, has taken center stage in the Presidential campaigns this week. Mitt Romney and President Obama both took the opportunity to emphasize how bad the other is for the growth of US businesses.
An Obama campaign ad released this week accuses Romney of outsourcing American jobs to Mexico, China, and India and argues that the corporate tax breaks Romney wants will go to aid the companies that still do.
Romney told crowds along the campaign trail that President Obama's policies have made life more difficult for entrepreneurs, and said the administration is "anti-small business."
Meanwhile, a new seven-minute Obama campaign video declares that the President rescued the auto industry, created 4.1 million new private sector jobs in the last 25 months, and brought middle class taxes to historic lows.
But a Romney campaign ad, called Broken Promises, points out that the nation's total public debt has reached a record $15.6 trillion under this President.
In the New York Times this week, columnist David Brooks wondered if hiring a president could be like hiring a plumber: "Voters aren't really looking to fall in love with the guy; they just want someone who will fix the pipes," Brooks wrote. "The candidate's job is to list the three or four things he would do if elected and then to hammer home those deliverables again and again."
Campaign speeches seem to spend more time underscoring the opponent's shortcomings than getting into the specifics of how to fix the pipes. But in a campaign document, "Believe in America: Mitt Romney's Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth," Romney actually does list 10 actions he would take on his first day in office. Romney says this combination of bills he would introduce and executive orders he would issue aim to achieve his main goal: "to restore America to the path of robust economic growth necessary to create jobs." Here are the 10:
1. Reduce the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent.
2. Implement the Colombia, Panama, and South Korea Free Trade Agreements.
3. Direct the Department of the Interior to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiates leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration.
4. Consolidate the sprawl of federal retraining programs and returns funding and responsibility for these programs to the states.
5. Immediately cut non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent, reducing the annual federal budget by $20 billion.
6. Direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health care solutions that work best for them.
7. Direct all agencies to immediately initiate the elimination of Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy or job creation, and then caps annual increases in regulatory costs at zero dollars.
8. Direct the Department of the Interior to implement a process for rapid issuance of drilling permits to developers with established safety records seeking to use pre-approved techniques in pre-approved areas.
9. Direct the Department of the Treasury to list China as a currency manipulator in its biannual report and directs the Department of Commerce to assess countervailing duties on Chinese imports if China does not quickly move to float its currency.
10. Reverse the executive orders issued by President Obama that tilt the playing field in favor of organized labor, including the one encouraging the use of union labor on major government construction projects.
As a small business owner, which of those 10 deliverables will fix your pipes? Is this the plumber you'd hire? Tell us in the comments.