THE CHOICE: A Look At Pres. Obama & Mitt Romney’s Plans To Create Jobs (VIDEO)

In Washington Watch’s new segment, “The Choice,” Roland Martin runs down the competing visions of Pres. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the future of our country. This week, our focus is on jobs.

All the polling tells us that jobs and the economy are the top issues for most voters. So, let’s hear from the candidates as to what they plan to do about jobs if elected President.

MR. MARTIN:  All right.  It’s time now for our new segment, “The Choice,” where we run down the competing visions of Pres. Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the future of our country.  This week, our focus is on jobs.

All the polling tells us that jobs and the economy are the top issues for most voters.  So, let’s hear from the candidates as to what they plan to do about jobs if elected President.


MR. MITT ROMNEY:  To assure every entrepreneur and every job creator that their investments in America will not vanish as have those in Greece, we will cut the deficit and put America on track to a balanced budget.


MR. ROMNEY:  … reducing taxes on business – not raising them.  It means simplifying and modernizing the regulations that hurt small business the most.


MR. MARTIN:  That was the Republican perspective.  Now it’s time for Pres. Barack Obama.


PRES. OBAMA:  This country created over half a million manufacturing jobs in the last two and-a-half years, and now you have a choice.  We can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here in the United States of America.


PRES. OBAMA:  We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports.  And if we choose this path, we can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.


MR. MARTIN:  After all the speeches, there is a clear difference between the two candidates.  It’s important to remember that unless one party gains control of the House, the Senate and the White House, neither Mitt Romney nor Pres. Obama will get to implement exactly what they want.

So, let’s break it down.  Mitt Romney’s plan has across-the-board 20 percent tax cuts for all individuals and a 15 percent tax cut for all corporations.  Repeal the Affordable Care Act – or, as he calls it, “Obamacare.”  Repeal the Dodd-Frank bill and other financial regulations.  Also, decrease environmental and labor regulations on business.  Now, Romney subscribes to the Republican belief that improving the business climate by lowering taxes and decreasing regulation will unleash the job creators and create millions of jobs.

Pres. Obama’s plan is focused on the creation of specific jobs by targeted tax breaks for each job created, as well as increased government spending on roads, bridges, the electrical grid and higher education.  So, here’s his plan.  Cut payroll taxes by 50 percent for 98 percent of all businesses.  Eliminate payroll taxes for a year on new hires.  Spend money to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers by providing grants to local governments.  Modernize 35,000 public schools and also modernize roads, railways and airports.  And also, fund summer jobs and training programs for low-income youth and adults.

It is a classic Democratic versus Republican approach.  The Republicans say less government means more jobs.  Democrats say the government’s power to tax and spend should be used to encourage – to encourage private-sector job growth.

So, which one will work better?  We need to go back to the past to try and predict the future.  So, let’s look at the Obama plan first.  His plan is roughly similar to his own stimulus, with targeted tax cuts and more government spending.  Now, remember 40 percent of that stimulus spending — $787 billion plan – tax cuts.  From the time the stimulus kicked in and job creation started to rise in the last 30 months, there were 130,000 net new jobs created per month, on average; and last month, the number was, as we said, 96,000.

Let’s look at Romney’s plan.  Cutting taxes and regulations was pretty much the plan of the George W. Bush presidency.  Also keep in mind when we cut those taxes, we greatly increase the national debt.  For the 30 months before the financial collapse in September 2008, there were an average of 36,000 net new jobs created each month – 36,000 from overall tax cuts and less regulation [versus] 130,000 jobs from targeted tax cuts and government spending.

Now, here to dig deeper on these two plans:  financial expert Jennifer Streaks, as well as Kelvin Boston, host of “Moneywise” on American Public Television.

Folks, welcome to the show.

MR. KELVIN BOSTON:  Thanks for having –


MR. BOSTON:  — me.

MR. MARTIN:  Now, please explain to me how you believe Mitt Romney’s plan actually can create the jobs?  He says 12 million.

MR. BOSTON:  The national economy, without any stimulus from either Romney or Obama, might do about 9 million jobs over the next four years, so it’s hard for me to find this 12 million that he’s even talking about.  And if you – if you notice, in the President’s speech, he didn’t really talk about numbers, because both of them know we’re going to have a slow economy – it’s going to take [a] while for this to – to go through a cycle – and, more importantly, that big businesses can only create so many jobs.

MS. STREAKS:  That’s right.

MR. BOSTON:  So, that’s why, really, the focus – and I – if you look at both programs –

MR. MARTIN:  Right.

MR. BOSTON:  — right now, it looks like Obama [is] trending more to have more jobs, especially more higher-paid jobs, than Romney’s even talking about.

MR. MARTIN:  Jennifer, exactly which candidate also is better when it comes to small businesses?  Because the reality is that’s where most jobs are created – small businesses.

MS. STREAKS:  It’s going to be the Obama plan.  It – don’t forget it’s targeted spending.  The reason why Obama’s being so successful now – even though it’s slow – is that he is actually targeting the job creators, the small business owner.  So, when you say that you’re going to cut taxes – or, payroll taxes for the small business owner, that’s going to be an immediate jump.  That’s going to give them immediate money to go out into the community and create jobs.

MR. MARTIN:  Thanks a bunch.  We appreciate it.

MS. STREAKS:  Thank you.

MR. BOSTON:  Thank you.