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Caucus 2012 voter's guide: Jon Huntsman

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

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Iowa caucus candidate Jon Huntsman believes distrust in the nation's government has devastated the lives of many Americans.

For the former Utah governor, restoring the economy and stabilizing the job market depends on leveling the nation's uncertainty.

"Well, we've been talking about the economic deficit, and you can't have a complete discussion in this country without talking about the second deficit, which is a trust deficit," Huntsman said during last week's "John King USA" interview. "I would argue that it is equally corrosive in this country. You can't just handle the economic deficit while leaving the trust deficit untouched."

Huntsman's plan to spur job growth entails tax reform and regulatory reform — including the repeal of Obama's health-care legislation and the Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law. It also includes an energy independence plan, and breaking up the big banks to prevent future bailouts.

Campaign spokesman Tim Miller said Huntsman is the right candidate for all voters, and he will follow through with his plans.

"Jon Huntsman is someone voters can trust on the issues of the day," he said. "He is not going to pander. He's not the candidate who is going to sign pledges. He is going to do what is best for this country and not the demands of the interest group."

But with just 22 days left in the Iowa caucus race, national polls, such as a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, show Huntsman lingering at 2 percent. Reports do show an increase of support in New Hampshire at 8 percent.

But Robert Hockett, a Cornell University professor of financial and international economic law, said though Huntsman is more reasonable than some of the other Republicans in the race, his views are still wrong-headed for wanting to balance the budget.

Hockett said the federal government should run surpluses during booms to prevent bubbles, which can burst, leading to recession.

He also said repealing Dodd-Frank and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will worsen the economy.

"Basically [demanding balanced budgets or objecting to financial or health insurance regulation is] telling government that it shouldn't do what it's there for in an economy as large as ours is," Hockett said, noting that Obama's deficits helped soothe the Bush-era bubbles. "I think all of the Republicans, even Huntsman, still calling for something like that is completely absurd."


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