Romney’s Plan

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 7 2011 @ 12:40pm


Romney released a 150-page economic plan yesterday. The plan is about what you would expect in a GOP primary – it costs $7.8 trillion according to Think Progress – but Romney's newly unveiled economic brain-trust is more heterodox:

Harvard's Greg Mankiw founded the Pigou Club to advocate for a tax on carbon. "A $1 per gallon hike in gas tax would bring in $100 billion a year in government revenue and make a dent in the looming fiscal gap," he said. Columbia Business School's Glenn Hubbard has argued that though marginal tax rates do significant damage to the economy, there's a good case to be made for raising revenues through closing loopholes and shaving tax expenditures. And ex-Minnesota Congressman Vin Weber was an enthusiastic backer of Simpson-Bowles, which raised taxes by about $2 trillion over 10 years. Only Jim Talent, the former senator from Missouri, hasn't confessed to an interest in stabilizing the debt through a deal that includes revenues.

I guess we can hope that all of this won't be thrown to the winds to appease the Tea Party. Frum loves the plan's focus on long-term growth but, er, what about, you know, jobs:

A President Romney would take office in January 2013, at a time when even on a best-case scenario more than 10 million Americans will still be unemployed or under-employed, more than half of them for a very long time. What to do for them? On this urgent topic, the plan falls dismayingly quiet. Even if Romney’s policies do raise the long-term growth rate of the United States beginning sometime about 2014, unemployment won’t return to normal levels until a Romney second term. That portends almost a decade of very high unemployment.