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Caucus 2012 voter's guide: Mitt Romney

BY CHASTITY DILLARD | DECEMBER 12, 2011 7:20 AM

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is confident in the private sector's ability to successfully drive America's economic recovery and stimulate job growth.

"Having spent my life in the private sector, I understand where jobs are created," the Iowa caucus candidate said during this past weekend's debate in Des Moines. "They're not created in government. They're not created in Washington. They are created on Main Streets and streets all over America."

Romney said a handful of plans will make America the most attractive in the world for economic growth — competitive employer tax rates, fewer regulations, and a balanced budget, for instance.

"It is economic growth, not government growth, that provides productive opportunities for American workers," Romney's regional press secretary, Amanda Henneberg, wrote in an email.

"Mitt Romney's plan does not increase the size of the federal budget or bureaucracy. To the contrary, it cuts spending and streamlines regulation. It does not promise the immediate creation of some imaginary number of jobs, because government cannot create jobs — at least not productive ones that contribute to our long-term prosperity."

Predicting a 11.5 million job increase within four years of his presidency, Romney said the Obama administration has failed to jump-start the economy and the "Band-Aids" won't help in the long run.

"The right thing to do is talk about how to make America competitive again," he said during the debate. "I spoke with business people all over the country — I've been one myself for 25 years — people aren't investing in America because this president has made America a less attractive place for investing and hiring than other places in the world."

But Paul Zarembka, an economics professor at the University of Buffalo, said the United States, like Europe, is headed for disaster.

"Tax decrease on the wealthy to stimulate jobs is totally false," Zarembka said. "Anyone arguing for tax reductions to include the wealthy is simply an argument of the 1 percent. And the corporations already have enough money — they don't need subsidies. They are sitting on trillions of dollars of money."

With just more than 20 days until the 2012 Iowa caucuses, Romney's status among voters is lukewarm. Recently, an ABC News/Washington Post poll has Romney at 18 percent in second place, 10 points below Iowa front-runner Newt Gingrich.

But Henneberg said America is in need of bold decisions and a plan to get America back to work.

"Mitt Romney is calling for a fundamental change in Washington's view of how economic growth and prosperity are achieved, how jobs are created, and how government can support these endeavors," she wrote. "It is at once a deeply conservative return to policies that have served our nation well and a highly ambitious departure from the policies of our current leadership."


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