We are, as you’ve surely been, inundated on a daily basis with what the prospective presidential Republican candidate field has been up to; who’s flip-flopped on what, who leads in the pre-pre-preliminary polls, and who’s begun, ended or denied another extramarital affair.
But at this point in the 2012 presidential race, it seems the only constructive thing to do is look at the serious candidates’ policies on the issues that matter to our readers. For a start, let’s say those are tax policy, corporate regulations, energy policy and trade. So let’s get to it; here are the three frontrunners (for now) and their official lines:
Romney has been slowly but surely becoming the leader the past couple months (until Newt Gingrich came back onto the scene and now leads several polls), mostly due to touting his business experience.
- Tax Policy – His website states that he’d reduce the corporate income tax to 25 percent, and “pursue transition from Ëœworldwide’ to Ëœterritorial’ system for corporate taxation.
- Regulation – Romney would “repeal Dodd-Frank and replace with streamlined, modern regulatory framework. Also, he’d “provide multi-year lead times before companies must come into compliance with onerous new environmental regulations.
- Energy Policy – His campaign lists a slew of bullet points expounding on “Significant Regulatory Reform, “Increasing Production, and “Research and Development. In short, Romney says he supports the Keystone pipeline, shale gas drilling and ensuring that “environmental laws properly account for cost in regulatory process.
- Trade/China – We’ve all heard how “tough Romney has been talking on China. An Ëœofficial’ sampling: increase USTR resources to pursue and support litigation against unfair trade practices; use unilateral and multilateral punitive measures to deter unfair Chinese practices; designate China a currency manipulator and impose countervailing duties; discontinue US government procurement from China until China commits to GPA.
- Tax Policy – Gingrich says he will stop the 2013 tax increases, eliminate “the capital gains tax, “dramatically reduc[e] the corporate income tax to 12.5 percent; and allow “for 100% expensing of new equipment to spur innovation and American manufacturing.
- Regulation – He’d repeal Dodd-Frank and replace the EPA with an Environmental “Solutions Agency “that works collaboratively with local government and industry to achieve results. Not much more than that.
- Energy Policy – Newt calls for an end to the ban on oil shale development in the western US, but aside from that, his policy mainly boils down to removing bureaucratic and legal obstacles to oil and gas development.
- Trade/China – No mention of either on his site. (Read an interesting rant about this from the Coalition for a Prosperous America here.)
- Tax Policy – Paul’s site states that he will lower the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, and will extend all of Bush’s tax cuts. (On a side note, how’s this for cutting government waste: “President Paul will take a salary of $39,336, approximately equal to the median personal income of the American worker.)
- Regulation – Paul would repeal Dodd-Frank and mandate “REINS-style requirements for thorough congressional review and authorization before implementing any new regulations issued by bureaucrats. No real specificity on how to handle other corporate regulations.
- Energy Policy – Paul plans to “remove restrictions on drillingÂ¦repeal the federal tax on gasolineÂ¦lift government roadblocks to the use of coal and nuclear powerÂ¦eliminate the EPAÂ¦[and] make tax credits available for the purchase and production of alternative fuel technologies.
- Trade/China – no explicit mention of either on his website — although his well-known “End the Fed campaign may have more than a little effect on global currency interactions.
This likely goes without saying, but no matter whether Democrats or Republicans win next year, don’t begin making any 2013 sourcing decisions just yet.