So, I took the debate transcript, highlighted the words jobs, taxes, and growth, and discarded the remainder of sentences that didn't includes these words. Since this was an economic debate, these three words tended to show up often. Not sure why the global economy was ignored, nor any mention of quantitative easements, but anyway, they did talk about jobs, taxes, and growth. Here are the results:
Four years ago we went through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Millions of jobs were lost. Over the last 30 months, we’ve seen 5 million jobs in the private sector created. Romney has a perspective that says if we cut taxes, skewed towards the wealthy, and roll back regulations that we’ll be better off. I think it’s important that we change our tax code to make sure that we’re helping small businesses and companies that are investing here in the United States.
Ann yesterday was a rally in Denver, and a woman came up to her with a baby in her arms and said, Ann, my husband has had four jobs in three years, part-time jobs. He’s lost his most recent job, and we’ve now just lost our home. We can help, but it’s going to take a different path, not the one we’ve been on, not the one the president describes as a top-down, cut taxes for the rich. That’s not what I’m going to do.
My plan creates about four million jobs. It’s small business that creates the jobs in America. I know what it takes to get small business growing again, to hire people. The president has a view that a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more -- if you will, trickle-down government would work.
I want to hire another hundred thousand new math and science teachers and create 2 million more slots in our community colleges so that people can get trained for the jobs that are out there right now.
When it comes to our tax code, Romney and I both agree that our corporate tax rate is too high. I also want to close those loopholes that are giving incentives for companies that are shipping jobs overseas. I want to provide tax breaks for companies that are investing here in the United States.
How do we deal with our tax code, and how do we make sure that we are reducing spending in a responsible way, but also how do we have enough revenue to make those investments? Romney’s central economic plan calls for a $5 trillion tax cut, on top of the extension of the Bush tax cuts, so that’s another $2 trillion, and $2 trillion in additional military spending that the military hasn’t asked for.
First of all, I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about. My view is that we ought to provide tax relief to people in the middle class. But I’m not going to reduce the share of taxes paid by high- income people. High-income people are doing just fine in this economy. They’ll do fine whether you’re president or I am.
Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a tax in and of itself. I’ll call it the economy tax.
We got to get those dollars back to the states and go to the workers so they can create their own pathways to getting the training they need for jobs that will really help them.
The second area: taxation. We agree; we ought to bring the tax rates down, and I do, both for corporations and for individuals. I also lower deductions and credits and exemptions so that we keep taking in the same money when you also account for growth.
I want to get America and North America energy independent, so we can create those jobs.
And finally, with regards to that tax cut, look, I’m not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the -- the revenues going to the government. My -- my number one principle is there’ll be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. I want to underline that -- no tax cut that adds to the deficit.
Let’s talk about taxes because I think it’s instructive. Now, four years ago when I stood on this stage I said that I would cut taxes for middle-class families. We cut taxes for middle-class families by about $3,600. And by giving them those tax cuts, they had a little more money in their pocket and so maybe they can buy a new car.
Now, Romney’s proposal that he has been promoting for 18 months calls for a $5 trillion tax cut on top of $2 trillion of additional spending for our military. When you add up all the loopholes and deductions that upper income individuals are currently taking advantage of -- if you take those all away -- you don’t come close to paying for $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in additional military spending.
That kind of top-down economics, where folks at the top are doing well so the average person making 3 million bucks is getting a $250,000 tax break while middle- class families are burdened further, that’s not what I believe is a recipe for economic growth.
Virtually everything he just said about my tax plan is inaccurate. So if the tax plan he described were a tax plan I was asked to support, I’d say absolutely not. I’m not looking for a $5 trillion tax cut. What I’ve said is I won’t put in place a tax cut that adds to the deficit. So there’s no economist can say Mitt Romney’s tax plan adds 5 trillion dollars if I say I will not add to the deficit with my tax plan.
I will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans. I will not, under any circumstances, raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families. I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by 3,000 dollars to $4,000 on middle-income families.
Fifty-four percent of America’s workers work in businesses that are taxed not at the corporate tax rate but at the individual tax rate.
For me, this is about jobs.
Well, for 18 months he’s been running on this tax plan.
Now, Romney and I do share a deep interest in encouraging small-business growth. So at the same time that my tax plan has already lowered taxes for 98 percent of families, I also lowered taxes for small businesses 18 times. And what I want to do is continue the tax rates -- the tax cuts that we put into place for small businesses and families.
But I have said that for incomes over $250,000 a year that we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president, when we created 23 million new jobs.
We can not only reduce the deficit, we can not only encourage job growth through small businesses, but we’re also able to make the investments that are necessary in education or in energy.
Now, under my plan, 97 percent of small businesses would not see their income taxes go up. Romney says, well, those top 3 percent, they’re the job creators.
And that kind of approach, I believe, will not grow our economy because the only way to pay for it without either burdening the middle class or blowing up our deficit is to make drastic cuts in things like education, making sure that we are continuing to invest in basic science and research, all the things that are helping America grow.
Mr. President, you’re absolutely right, which is that with regards to 97 percent of the businesses are not taxed at the 35 percent tax rate, they’re taxed at a lower rate. And your plan is take their tax rate from 35 percent to 40 percent.
Now, I talked to a guy who has a very small business, he said he and his son calculated how much they pay in taxes. Federal income tax, federal payroll tax, state income tax, state sales tax, state property tax, gasoline tax -- it added up to well over 50 percent of what they earned.
And your plan is to take the tax rate on successful small businesses from 35 percent to 40 percent. The National Federation of Independent Businesses has said that will cost 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to cost jobs. My priority is jobs. And so what I do is I bring down the tax rates, lower deductions and exemptions. Get the rates down, lower deductions and exemptions to create more jobs, because there’s nothing better for getting us to a balanced budget than having more people working, earning more money, paying more taxes.
If you believe that we can cut taxes by $5 trillion and add $2 trillion in additional spending that the military is not asking for -- $7 trillion, and you think that by closing loopholes and deductions for the well-to-do, somehow you will not end up picking up the tab, then Romney’s plan may work for you.
But I think math, common sense and our history shows us that’s not a recipe for job growth. The approach that Romney’s talking about is the same sales pitch that was made in 2001 and 2003. And we ended up with the slowest job growth in 50 years. Bill Clinton tried the approach that I’m talking about. We created 23 million new jobs.
So in some ways, we’ve got some data on which approach is more likely to create jobs and opportunity for Americans, and I believe that the economy works best when middle-class families are getting tax breaks.
I’m not in favor of a $5 trillion tax cut. My plan is not to put in place any tax cut that will add to the deficit. So you may keep referring to it as a $5 trillion tax cut, but that’s not my plan.
Economic growth this year slower than last year, and last year slower than the year before.
Well, mathematically there are three ways that you can cut a deficit. One, of course, is to raise taxes. Number two is to cut spending. And number three is to grow the economy because if more people work in a growing economy they’re paying taxes and you can get the job done that way.
The president would prefer raising taxes. The problem with raising taxes is that it slows down the rate of growth and you could never quite get the job done. I want to lower spending and encourage economic growth at the same time.
When I walked in the Oval Office, I had more than a trillion dollar deficit greeting me, two wars that were paid for on a credit card, two tax cuts that were not paid for, and a whole bunch of programs that were not paid for. Let’s make sure that we are cutting out those things that are not helping us grow.
Why is that I don’t want to raise taxes? Why don’t I want to raise taxes on people? You said, look, I’m going to extend the tax policies that we have. Now, I’m not going to raise taxes on anyone because when the economy’s growing slow like this, when we’re in recession you shouldn’t raise taxes on anyone.
Well, the economy is still growing slow. As a matter of fact, it’s growing much more slowly now than when you made that statement. And so if you believe the same thing, you just don’t want to raise taxes on people. And the reality is it’s not just wealthy people it’s not just Donald Trump you’re taxing; it’s all those businesses that employ one-quarter of the workers in America. These small businesses that are taxed as individuals. You raise taxes and you kill jobs. That’s why the National Federation of Independent Businesses said your plan will kill 700,000 jobs. I don’t want to kill jobs in this environment.
The revenue I get is by more people working, getting higher pay, paying more taxes. That’s how we get growth and how we balance the budget. But the idea of taxing people more, putting more people out of work -- you’ll never get there. You never balance the budget by raising taxes.
I want to go down the path of growth that puts Americans to work, with more money coming in because they’re working.
Let’s talk about corporate taxes. Why wouldn’t we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets? When it comes to corporate taxes, Romney has said he wants to, in a revenue-neutral way, close loopholes, deductions -- he hasn’t identified which ones they are -- but thereby bring down the corporate rate.
And part of the way to do it is to not give tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas.
That is not a recipe for growth; that’s not how America was built.
And if we’re asking for no revenue, then that means that we’ve got to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff, and the magnitude of the tax cuts that you’re talking about, Governor, would end up resulting in severe hardship for people, but more importantly, would not help us grow.
The Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year.
But you know, if we get that tax rate from 35 percent down to 25 percent, why, that $2.8 billion is on the table.
The idea that you get a break for shipping jobs overseas is simply not the case.
We’re going to make sure that you’ve got to have a living will, so we can know how you’re going to wind things down if you make a bad bet so we don’t have other taxpayer bailouts.
I will make sure we don’t hurt the functioning of our marketplace and our businesses, because I want to bring back housing and get good jobs.
I just don’t know how the president could have come into office, facing 23 million people out of work, rising unemployment, an economic crisis at the kitchen table and spent his energy and passion for two years fighting for “Obamacare” instead of fighting for jobs for the American people. It has killed jobs.
So we did work on this alongside working on jobs, because this is part of making sure that middle-class families are secure in this country. It hasn’t destroyed jobs.
We didn’t raise taxes. You’ve raised them by a trillion dollars under “Obamacare.” So for those reasons, for the tax, for Medicare, for this board and for people losing their insurance, this is why the American people don’t want “Obamacare.”
These are small -- these are enterprises competing with each other, learning how to do better and better jobs.
We instead need to put insurance plans, providers, hospitals, doctors on targets such that they have an incentive, as you say, performance pay, for doing an excellent job, for keeping costs down, and that’s happening.
He says that he’s going to close deductions and loopholes for his tax plan.
When Ronald Reagan ran for office, he said he was going to lower tax rates. You’ve said the same thing: You’re going to simplify the tax code, broaden the base.
I want to bring down the tax burden on middle-income families.
There are alternatives to accomplish the objective I have, which is to bring down rates, broaden the base, simplify the code and create incentives for growth.
The federal government can’t do it all, but it can make a difference, and as a consequence, we’ll have a better-trained workforce, and that will create jobs, because companies want to locate in places where we’ve got a skilled workforce.
And what we’re seeing right now is, in my view, a trickle-down government approach which has government thinking it can do a better job than free people pursuing their dreams. The federal government can get local and state schools to do a better job.
When Romney indicates that he wants to cut taxes and potentially benefit folks like me and him, and to pay for it, we’re having to initiate significant cuts in federal support for education, that makes a difference.
When it comes to community colleges, we are seeing great work done out there all over the country because we have the opportunity to train people for jobs that exist right now. They’re designing training programs, and people who are going through them know that there’s a job waiting for them if they complete them.
It’s how we’re going to grow this economy over the long term.
I don’t have any plan to cut education funding and grants that go to people going to college. I’m planning on continuing to grow, so I’m not planning on making changes there.
You put $90 billion into green jobs.
Because of the woman I met in North Carolina who decided at 55 to go back to school because she wanted to inspire her daughter, and now has a new job from that new training that she’s gotten.
…Making sure that we’re closing loopholes for companies that are shipping jobs overseas and focusing on small businesses and companies that are creating jobs here in the United States.
If I’m president, I will create -- help create 12 million new jobs in this country with rising incomes.