Republican Party of South Carolina
President: Mitt Romney
Webpage used: http://www.mittromney.com/issues
You can't say that whoever put this together was worried about being short. They weren't worried about being succinct either. Three major groupings of policies plus some extras.
Foreign policy is given the impressive sounding title An American Century
The "policy" for Afghanistan and Pakistan
is filled with platitudes that don't commit Romney to doing anything and seems intended to enable him to blame Obama, Karzai, and/or Pakistan if things go wrong there under his watch.
More platitudes for China & East Asia
. His goals are good, but there is no plan put forth to actually achieve them, and no hint he has one. The only noticeable difference with what Obama is doing is that Romney is more willing to sell advanced weaponry to our allies there.
Additional platitudes about Iran
. The only differences between him and Obama are in how far you believe either when they say that military force is an option.
Mitt bashes Obama for not sufficiently supporting Israel
. Personally, I'm doubtful that there will be any progress soon on the Israeli-Palestinian front. Even if they were negotiating, neither side is willing to give the other what would needed for peace.
In Latin America
, Mitt rightly bashes Obama for not doing enough to combat the spread of Bolivarianism, but he also proposes expanding the failed policy of militarizing the War on Drugs.
The page on the Middle East
as a whole combines platitudes with digs at Obama.
For National Defense
, Mitt calls for an expansion we can't afford and gives no details on how to achieve it. I do agree we need more ships in the Navy, but to achieve that under our current budget limitations, we need smaller ships, which he doesn't realize.
As for Russia
, Mitt seems to long for the days when the Soviets were a clear adversary. It certainly made designing foreign policy easier when that was the case.
Last but not least, there is Africa. Note there is no link. Mitt has no foreign policy page for Africa, which is a serious lack.
Mitt's economic talking points have the title Believe in America
First up, his Tax
policy. Mitt does rightly target uncertainty over the tax code as a major drag on the economy, but he wrong to place sole blame for this state of affairs on Obama. Indeed, it really goes back to 2001 when the GOP made their tax cuts temporary to begin with. He also proposes some hefty tax cuts with no provision for cutting tax loopholes, or at least no examples of loopholes he would eliminate.
Target two is Regulation
. Not surprisingly, he thinks there is too much regulation and in the case of both Obamacare and Dodd-Frank he calls for "Repeal and Replace" which is a lovely sounding soundbite until you notice that he has no plans whatsoever what the replacement is to be.
Third up is Trade
policy. In general, he's pro-Free Trade, combined with being aggressively adversarial towards China. The first is good, the second is needlessly provocative, especially what he says he will do on 20 January 2013 if elected. But wait there's more! Mitt wants a brand new multilateral free trade agreement which he proposes to call the Reagan Economic Zone
! Even if there were a chance something like that would fly, the name never would. It would be as popular as calling the propose Eurozone fiscal union the Merkel Fiscal Union
For the most part I actually agree with Mitt's Energy
policy. Subsidies for Green Jobs aren't going to accomplish much (targeted subsides seldom do) and the Clean Air Act is the wrong mechanism for dealing with climate change. However, while Mitt doesn't outright say it here, I don't share his disdain for global warming. However, my favored approach, a Carbon Tax, isn't going to be embraced by the GOP any time soon.
policy has the expected parts for a Republican. What strikes me as odd is that if being a Right-to-Work state has such an obviously wonderful economic impact, why don't Republicans call for prohibiting the Union Shop in all States instead of leaving it to each State to decide? A cynical person might think the Republicans like keeping Union Shops around in the Democratic-leaning States so they can keep them as a talking point.
The robotically-named Human Capital
policy point is really two points. The first is that Federal government job training programs are badly mismanaged and often duplicative. I agree, but his proposal for Personal Reemployment Accounts is ridiculous. The people who would most benefit from government assistance with retraining are not the people who would put money in them. The second is that he wants to increase the visa caps for highly-skilled immigrants. A cynic might argue that he hid the second point here in hopes the xenophobes who favor reducing legal immigration won't find it.
Then we get to his Fiscal
policy, where he doesn't even bother to make his phantom numbers add up. First off, he wants to get Federal spending down to 20% of GDP, which sounds good except that with Social Security and Medicare spending having to go up considerably in the future, I don't see that as being sustainable without touching those programs and he doesn't do that here. By his accounting, reaching that goal will require around $500 billion per year in savings, but he only identifies a little over $300 billion in savings, with some $60 billion coming from the ever popular cutting waste and fraud, and over $100 billion from block-granting out some programs, mainly Medicaid, to the States for them to do more efficiently. Granted, cutting back on dual-bureaucracy will save some money, but not that much, so those block grants inevitably would lead to some combination of cuts in services or tax hikes at the State level, neither of which Mitt cares to admit to.
Smaller, Smarter, Simpler Government
Plank one is Health Care
. His centerpiece is block-granting Medicaid and eliminating Federal requirements on what insurance must cover, with the rest being usual GOP talking points. So what Mitt is saying but in a manner he apparently hopes will not be noticed is that he wants to shrink the safety net. He takes the same tack with Medicare
. He cloaks his plan with the mantle of reform, but it is clear that it will cut the benefits future seniors will receive while he pretends it does no such thing.
In contrast to his obfuscation on health care, Mitt is relatively clear about the cuts he wants in Social Security
. A gradual increase in the age at which benefits become available combined with a reduction in the COLAs for those with higher incomes. Here I think he isn't going far enough, but he probably is going as far as is politically feasible.
His proposals on Regulations, Taxes, and Fiscal policy are repeated here from his Believe in America rubric.
Other issues: Mitt has a few pages that don't fall into one of the big three groupings above.Courts & The Constitution
The usual right-wing platitudes here.Education
He cheerleads school choice and improved educational access without putting forward any proposals on how to do that.Gun Rights
More right-wing platitudes without proposals.Immigration
The only one of these extra issues that actually has some proposals. He favors increasing immigration quotas for highly skilled people, and increasing the number of temporary visas for both agricultural and non-agricultural workers. He also wants to revise the system of country caps. He also gives the expected nods to finishing the fence, stepping up enforcement, and improving employee verification.Values
Right wing platitudes on abortion, stem cell research, and marriage.