Republican-backed Romney plan leaves Dems hungry - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Republicans praise Romney’s 5-Point Plan, Democrats demand detail

Posted: Updated:
Mitt Romney's five-point plan has been one of his campaign's primary tools for publicizing his message. (Source: Wikimedia) Mitt Romney's five-point plan has been one of his campaign's primary tools for publicizing his message. (Source: Wikimedia)
Mitt Romney's five point plan is published on his campaign's website. (Source: MittRomney.com) Mitt Romney's five point plan is published on his campaign's website. (Source: MittRomney.com)
Dr. Oliver McGee is the author of ‘Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama’ and a professor at Howard University. (Source: Oliver McGee) Dr. Oliver McGee is the author of ‘Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama’ and a professor at Howard University. (Source: Oliver McGee)
Election Day is Nov. 6. (Source: MGN) Election Day is Nov. 6. (Source: MGN)

Editors note: This article examines Republican presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney's economic plan for the U.S. On Friday, President Barack Obama's plan will be reviewed.

(RNN) - After hundreds of rallies, scores of fundraisers and three presidential debates, President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had plenty of chances to publicize their platforms.

An incumbent's policies are generally easier to publicize since they have been in the public eye for the past four years, but a challenger must advertise their platform in a convincing way.

The Romney campaign recognized this early and released a 160-page booklet that offers 59 policy proposals. It is boiled down to a five-point plan for "a stronger middle class" on his website

The plan divides Romney's ideas into five basic categories: "energy dependence," "the skills to succeed," "trade that works for America," "cut the deficit," and "champion small business."

Dr. Oliver McGee, a professor at Howard University and author of Jumping the Aisle: How I Became a Black Republican in the Age of Obama, said Romney realized his five-point plan had to be easily understood in order to reach the electorate.

"You have to keep it simple," he said. "You have to keep it straight forward. It has to make economical and political sense. And it has to reach the masses so you can sell it in a sound bite."

The plan has met its fair share of criticism from the political left, claiming it lacks depth.

"The plan allows Romney to say what he needs to say so that everyone will like him. The plan is trying to please everybody and make everyone happy," said Henry Schissler, a social sciences professor at Housatonic Community College. "There are no real specifics there."

Schissler suggested there is no way the five-point plan would ever work for the complex issues that face the country, and Romney is using the simplistic terms to be everything to everyone.

McGee said the plan makes sense because it represents three key pillars the country needs for a successful future: capital, technology and competition. He argued it is a "national security plan."

Referencing the first point, energy dependence, McGee argued the U.S. has enough oil within its borders to supply the world two to three times over. Romney's plan promotes development of oil, gas and coal production while creating energy jobs and making the nation a more competitive energy market.

Opponents disagree, pointing out the five-point plan promises to "eliminate regulations destroying the coal industry." But you'll have to dive into the 160-page plan to discover what regulations Romney is talking about.

The regulations, dubbed the "hazardous air pollutants rule," were put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency, not directly by Obama. Romney claims the regulations were encouraged by the president, and that the current administration has an "unhealthy 'green' jobs obsession" that could cripple the coal industry and kill jobs.

He has not explained how he would replace the EPA regulations. Instead, he touts that studies show green jobs could hurt employment rather than help it.

Under Romney's "skills to succeed" section, one of his goals is to provide access to affordable and effective higher education options.

"You need the capital to invest in the development and advancement of these technologies," McGee said. "We need to develop Steve Jobs-type engineers, scientists and mathematicians who know how to create the technology, and the experience for people to understand the technology, engage it and use it."

However, in his full plan Romney does not explain how he would do so. Instead the plan explains how Romney would cut the number of what he deemed redundant job retraining programs, with as many as 44 out of 47 on the chopping block.

Romney's plan would also scale back federal control of those programs. His administration would turn over organization and control of the money to the individual states, with as yet undefined consequences for funding misuse.

Also to help business growth, Romney would eliminate Obamacare to get rid of federal mandates that burden lower levels of government and business.

"It may be a good idea that we want to provide [healthcare], but the federal government can't do it all. They have to delve it down to the states, municipalities and the books of small businesses," McGee said. "And if they look at their books individually they all say, ‘We're already trying to handle Medicare and Social Security. And now we have to take on this?'"

Romney's administration proposes changing the tax code to encourage Americans to buy their own health insurance. The change would get rid of the cost advantage of buying health insurance through an employer.

Critics point out Romney says he would make healthcare reforms that control costs and improve care, but he does not specify deductions or credits to make individually purchased healthcare affordable.

The unspecific wording throughout Romney's plan has been a regular target for Democrats, particularly focusing on the "champion small business" point.

"He doesn't even define what a small business is. Because when I think of small business I think of a 'mom and pop' store holding on for their dear lives. But that's not what his small business is," Schissler said.

He maintained Romney shouldn't expect much if he does not put Democrats' questions to rest.

"If he gives details, maybe he'll get elected. But without details, it's not going to be pretty for him come Nov. 6," he said.

However, McGee said he believed the Romney campaign should not dwell on the specifics, since the message of his plan is strong.

"If you think you can lay it all out on a website so that people can find out all the minute details, the other side has a whole army of fact checkers that can simply rip it apart to shreds so that your plan doesn't even make sense anymore," McGee said. "And that's not just for the Romney plan. That applies to the Obama plan as well."

Copyright 2012 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow
WSHM
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2014, WSHM; Springfield, MA. (A Meredith Corporation Station) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.