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 strong.
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 financial power.
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 tech areas.
4. Protecting Against Intellectual Property Theft
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 property.
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 motor vehicles.
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.