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Obama unveils economic plan: 5 ways it differs from Romney's (+video)

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Manufacturing

Obama says he wants to see the US create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016. The lead item on his agenda here is corporate tax reform (cutting rates, while offsetting that revenue loss by closing loopholes in the current tax code). The president calls for a new tax credit "for companies that bring jobs home."

He also urges training 2 million workers through new partnerships between community colleges and employers, and creating a network of business-university "manufacturing innovation institutes" to keep US industries on the cutting edge.

In all, his goal of 1 million new jobs sounds like a slight boost from the recent pace of job creation. (Obama's booklet notes that half a million manufacturing jobs have been added in the past 2-1/2 years.)

Manufacturing isn't a category in Romney's five-point plan, but his plan also seeks to boost this important sector of the economy. Romney has his own version of corporate tax reform, which he says would lure employers (US and foreign) to set up more production in America.

"Trade that works for America," is one of Romney's agenda items. Like Obama, he says he'd seek to curtail "unfair trade practices" by China and other nations. Where Obama has an enforcement effort under way, Romney implies he'd go further in getting tough on China – naming that country a currency "manipulator" on Day 1 of his administration.

Where Obama emphasizes willingness for government to make strategic investments, Romney says that investing in companies is "the wrong way to go." He supports basic science research, but isn't backing Obama-style innovation institutes. He calls for streamlining some 47 US job-training programs, while focusing them "on building valuable skills that align [job seekers] with opportunities."

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