The Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate is proposing a $5,000 “tax moratorium” for Americans who make $150,000 or less annually.

Roxanne Conlin, the Democrat who’s challenging Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this November, says middle class taxpayers could use that $5,000 worth of federal income taxes they owe now to, instead, fix up their home or buy a vehicle instead, then pay the $5000 to the government sometime over the next five years.

“Five-thousand dollars for a middle class family — $5,000 for almost any family — is a lot of money and it provides a lot of purchasing power and purchasing power translates to new jobs.  It multiplies in the economy,” Conlin says.  “It will bring us back.”

Conlin is also calling for new trade restrictions on imported goods. For instance, she’d vote to impose a tariff on Chinese imports because China “manipulates” its currency and she’d require U.S. governments at the federal, state and local level to buy American goods and services.

“The whole American thing — I don’t want you to be concerned about that because China does it,” Conlin says.”So why do we let them do it and not do it for ourselves, for our own citizens, for our own manufacturers, for our own workers?” 

Conlin says her agenda for job creation is in contrast to her Republican rival, Senator Grassley. “His plans to create jobs, it’s the same old right-wing nostrums that drove our economy off a cliff:  give even more money to millionaires and billionaires and let corporations run wild without any regulations to keep us safe,” Conlin says. 

Conlin made her comments this morning during a news conference in Des Moines.  Listen to it: ConlinJobs 23:01 MP3 

A spokesman for Senator Grassley says Conlin’s proposals would “absolutely destroy” the U.S. economy.  “Roxanne Conlin’s plans would be better named ‘Job Destroyers for the 21st Century’ based on her advocacy for job-killing tax increases, regulations and higher energy prices,” Eric Woolson, Grassley’s communications director, said in a written statement.

(This story was updated at 12:03 p.m.)