Economic issues are likely to dominate a Tuesday morning forum in Pella, but the five Republican presidential candidates scheduled to participate in the National Association of Manufacturers event have been offering a variety of prescriptions for the nation’s economy.
For example, candidate Ron Paul consistently warns the world will have to suffer through a long-term financial overhaul before economies can be fully revived.
“The debt is a huge burden. It’s all based on paper money and it’s worldwide. It’s bigger than anything ever before and it’s not going to be one country,” Paul said Saturday in Des Moines. “It’s going to be worldwide so, therefore, we’ve got to face the consequences.”
Paul favors complete elimination of the federal income tax and a dramatic reduction in the size and scope of the federal government, while rival Michele Bachmann has suggested returning to the lower and “flatter” federal income tax rates of the 1980s. She predicts the economy will start to turn around in just one quarter.
“I have absolutely no shadow of a doubt that we can get the country back on track,” Bachmann said Saturday in Oskaloosa. “We can create millions of high-paying jobs and the economy can work for us again.”
Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, two of the other candidates scheduled to participate in tomorrow’s forum, have suggested some sort of a “flat tax” on income. Anita Perry says her husband’s tax plan, coupled with a balanced federal budget, would reduce America’s dependence on China for credit.
“We’re in debt almost $15 trillion,” Anita Perry said during an interview with Radio Iowa this past weekend. “We can’t keep going down this road.”
Rick Santorum is the other candidate scheduled to participate in the National Association of Manufacturers forum. Santorum has argued President Obama’s policies are a “threat” to the country’s finances. “Putting our country into a horrible deficit situations and just destroying our economy and the private sector,” Santorum said earlier today in Decorah. Santorum has proposed complete elimination of the corporate income tax on U.S. manufacturers as one way to stimulate economic growth.
Tomorrow’s candidate forum starts at 10 a.m.. It will be held at Vermeer Manufacturing in Pella. Vermeer president Mary Andringa is board chairman of the National Association of Manufacturers. She hosted Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney at Vermeer headquarters in August for an hour-long economic roundtable with local business leaders. Romney is not participating in tomorrow’s event, nor is Herman Cain, the former Godfather’s Pizza executive.
(Reporting in Decorah by Darin Swenson of KDEC Radio.)