The Debate on the American Economy - "Two Plans"

With its recent ad, “Two Plans,” the Obama campaign offers voters a stark contrast between the two candidates’ tax policies.

According to the ad, Governor Romney’s plan cuts taxes on millionaires by 25%, continues to give tax breaks to oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas, and could result in a tax hike for 18 million working families.

The Obama plan, on the other hand, asks the wealthy to pay more taxes so that the middle class can pay less and eliminates tax breaks for companies that outsource American jobs.

These two plans represent a fundamental difference in Romney and Obama’s philosophies. Romney’s depends on “trickle down” economics, believing that growth occurs from the bottom down. Obama’s sees the middle class as the driver of growth, and holds that the economy grows from the middle out. Both philosophies have been tested. In the 1990s, Clinton raised taxes on wealthy Americans and, in addition to a budget surplus, our country saw its highest growth rates in history. George W. Bush then cut taxes across the board, slowing growth and expanding deficits and debt.

The distinction is clear. One plan favors the wealthy and does not incentivize the creation of jobs at home. The other favors normal Americans and tries to bring jobs back to the US. This ad is particularly salient amidst recent reports that, while at Bain Capital, Romney invested millions in a Chinese manufacturing firm that profited from US outsourcing. Moreover, it has recently come to light that Governor Romney holds substantial assets in overseas banks in Switzerland, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands. When confronted with questions about his investment record and personal finances, Romney has chosen to reveal very little, causing some to infer that he has something to hide. The question becomes: Do we want a leader with private sector experience destroying American jobs and a personal interest in keeping tax rates on the wealthy low, or one with a plan to create jobs at home?