Jon Huntsman has taken a lot of grief from conservatives as being a RINO while winning acclaim from the left-of-center media establishment as a “grown-up” type of Republican. On Sunday talk shows, he has taken potshots at his more conservative Republican challengers for the party’s presidential nomination and signed on to the theory of anthropogenic global warming.
Sometimes it even sounds like he’s planning to endorse the man who tapped him as the nation’s ambassador to China should he (as polls indicate he will) fail in his bid for the Republican nomination. I had been skeptical of his bid for said nomination until I read the Wall Street Journal’s praise yesterday of his economic plan.
This plan, as summarized by the Journal, is pretty close to the type of plan I would promote were I running for national office. The former Utah governor would create “three personal income tax rates—8%, 14% and 23%” and eliminating “all deductions and credits”:
The double tax on capital gains and dividends would be expunged as would the Alternative Minimum Tax. The corporate tax rate falls to 25% from 35%, and American businesses would be taxed on a territorial system to encourage firms to return capital parked in overseas operations.
Mr. Huntsman would repeal two of President Obama’s most economically debilitating creations, ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. Mr. Huntsman has it right when he says, “Dodd-Frank perpetuates ‘too big to fail’ by codifying a regime that incentivizes firms to become too big to fail.” He’d also repeal a Bush-era regulatory mistake, the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting rules, which have added millions of dollars of costs to businesses with little positive effect.
Mr. Huntsman says he’d also bring to heel the hyper-regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the National Labor Relations Board, all of which are suppressing job-creation.
Nice to see he understands the need to repeal these three “economically debilitating” laws, including the one passed by a Republican House in 2002 and subsequently signed by a Republican president.
It is a good sign if the candidate perceived as the most liberal in the Republican field has just signed on to some very sensible conservative reforms.
UPDATE: No fan of Huntsman, RedState’s Erick Erickson says, “The other Republican candidates should look to this plan as a good benchmark for recovery moving forward.” Indeed.