1. Strengthening the American economy
If the government spends more money than it
takes in taxes, it is forced to borrow. What it borrows it must pay back
with interest. If it can't pay its loans back on time, the government is
forced to borrow more or it will default on its debts. It is a downward
spiral that brings the whole economy down with it. That is why the
budget must be balanced and we must work to get America out of debt.
This includes keeping taxes, inflation and the size of government down
and using middle class tax cuts to help restore the purchasing power of
struggling American families.
2. Ensuring Fair Trade
American workers and their jobs are worth
fighting for and protecting. Our goal should be to produce more of what
we consume, export more of what we produce, and create conditions that
will encourage investment in producing more tradable goods and services.
We should address the trading world as it is,
not as we wish it were or wish it to be twenty-five years from now.
Let us identify and address the huge gaps between commitments made by
our trading partners and their de facto policies. And remember that
endless trade negotiations will not solve our current account deficits,
especially with Asia. We need solutions now to keep America's economy
Where our trading partners are using currency
manipulation to subsidize their manufactured goods, the U.S. should
attach an "equalization fee" to their exports to help level the
import-export playing field. And Congress should give our trade
negotiators the diplomatic clout they require to force needed currency
adjustments with trade surplus countries.
We must do whatever it takes to balance our
trade and capital accounts. Our huge trade deficits are seriously
damaging our economy and cannot be sustained indefinitely.
Last year three quarters of a trillion
dollars drained out of the American economy in trade deficits on top of
several trillions of dollars from earlier trade deficits. This saddles
America with interest payments and other charges to foreign
creditors. We must systematically address the macro and micro economic
causes of these damaging and unsustainable deficits.
This means that the floating exchange rate
must be allowed to operate in Asia, free from interference by Central
Bank intervention, and indirect manipulation of exchanges by Japan.
Globalization is not the problem. The problem is to adjust the terms of
trade within globalization so that vast destabilizing and unsustainable
deficits in trade and capital accounts do not occur.
America can win in international trade with a
level playing field. It cannot win with the current barriers to our
exports. The hour is late. Half measures and endless time
consuming negotiations, absent a far more forceful U.S. negotiating
position, will only witness more massive accumulations of trade
deficits, undermine America's strategic financial strength, make us
vulnerable to blackmail by those with titanic reserves, and otherwise
weaken our country in the very area that was our ultimate strength, our
We need to establish an apprenticeship
system—similar to those established in Germany and England—to educate,
qualify and train young workers, especially in newly developing high
4. Protecting Against Intellectual
Intellectual property theft is a serious
crime that undermines our industry and our national security and it
should be treated as the serious crime that it is. Meaningful penalties
must be established to prevent the theft of America's intellectual
5. Ensuring Energy independence
Energy independence can be attained and, at
the same time, the environment protected. First, we must increase the
availability of nuclear power. Next, we must maximize the use of clean
coal processes to produce electricity and finally, we need to increase
our domestic oil supply.
Exploration for new sources of oil and gas
should be a priority in our efforts to make America energy independent.
This includes exploration of the portion of the ANWR lands in the Arctic
where we know there to be a significant supply.
As in the case in Japan and France, nuclear
energy should be a major supplier of electricity. The safety and
security of each facility, of course, should be paramount. And other
forms of alternative energy must be encouraged such as converting ocean
wave action into energy and using aluminum oxide fuel cells to power
6. Supporting Environmental Stewardship
We are answerable to future generations for
our stewardship of the environment. I understand this solemn
responsibility and as President, I will lead the effort to ensure that
we protect and preserve the environment, that we maximize alternative
means of clean energy, and that we support the implementation of green
technologies, sustainable development and the use of best practices in
waste reduction and waste management.
7. Constant Vigilance
Our economy is strong, but events such as the
sub-prime lending and housing construction fiascos are warnings that we
must be ever vigilant. Continued abuse of our economic power is suicidal
in today’s global economy. Workers in third world countries all over the
world are competing with our workers for a fraction of U.S. wages.
Irresponsible free trade sees foreign products bound for the U.S.
subsidized by their home governments who turn around and tax U.S. made
products. Worse, multinational U.S. companies are involved in a mass
movement of plants and workers from the U.S. to overseas locations.
We must take all necessary measures to keep
America’s economy strong.