NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Tuesday will call for lowering the corporate tax rate and eliminating capital gains taxes for middle-class Americans as part of a plan to try to lift the struggling economy as well as create jobs.
Romney will detail 59 specific proposals aimed at fixing the nation's stubbornly high unemployment rate, now at 9.1 percent. He gave a broad outline of his 160-page plan in a Tuesday morning opinion piece in USA Today and was to speak later in the day at McCandless International Trucks.
"At best, government can provide a framework in which economic growth can occur. All too often, however, government gets in the way," Romney wrote. "The past three years of unparalleled government expansion have retaught that lesson all too well."
Romney's plan would lower the tax rate for corporations — it tops out at 35 percent, one of the highest in the world — in a bid to encourage more companies to keep profits in the U.S. Romney also called for eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains and dividends for middle-class Americans as a way to spur investment among individuals.
Romney also accused President Barack Obama of expanding federal regulations. Romney's new plan calls on government agencies to make sure that new regulations don't cost money — if a new set of rules raises costs for businesses, Romney would require that a different set of regulations be eliminated.
Romney will use the plan's rollout to contrast his candidacy with his Republican rivals — and to present a comprehensive outline for fixing the economy just as Obama prepares to unveil a jobs-centric proposal.
"I have spent most of my career in the private sector starting new businesses and turning around ailing ones. Unlike career politicians who've never met a payroll, I know why jobs come and go," Romney wrote in USA Today in a barb aimed at Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has held public office since he was elected as a Texas state representative in 1985.
Obama is slated to outline a specific jobs plan in an address before a joint session of Congress on Thursday. The GOP presidential field is set to convene in Simi Valley, Calif., the night before for a debate — and Obama was forced to move the date he had asked to make the speech from Wednesday to the next night after House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, objected.
The plan is Romney's first major policy statement since he announced he was running for president in June. He chose Nevada, where the state unemployment rate was 12.9 percent in July, to introduce the plan.
The state has also been particularly hard hit by the foreclosure crisis. But it's also friendly territory for Romney, who won the Republican caucuses here in 2008. He has paid careful attention to the state during his current bid, as well.
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