- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2011

I have often been criticized for saying that I could turn around the U.S. economy in just a few short months. That is not blind optimism talking, but rather the realization that the biggest impediment to true economic recovery has been the signal President Obama’s policies have been sending to the key audience for recovery, the job creators. Should I be fortunate enough to be elected by the American people to serve as president of the United States, I will have an ambitious agenda in the first 100 days that will send a signal to our country’s job creators and to the world that the days of socialist policies are over, that our free market is once again open for business and that we will once again lead the world as the true exceptional nation.

My first act as president will be to repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank. No two pieces of legislation represent socialism and big government more than those, and both have greatly hindered the creation of jobs and capital necessary for economic recovery. Obamacare represents the largest expansion of entitlement spending and playground of left-wing social engineering in our country’s history, and it must be stopped. In its place, I’ll reform the health care system by ending state monopolies on health insurance, introducing real tort reform and providing tax incentives for health care providers who give free health care to those who cannot afford it.

I also will get government spending, which has spiraled ever upward, leaving us with over $15 trillion in debt, under control and shut down departments in the federal government that have no constitutional authority and, worse, waste your money. In the first 100 days, I will submit legislation to repeal laws establishing the Departments of Education, Commerce and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency and their related bureaucracies. That will send a signal that I intend for government to do what it is mandated to do under the Constitution.

I will honor the Constitution and send Congress a balanced budget in my first 100 days. If Congress passes an unbalanced budget, I will veto it.

Government should not do what both the Constitution and morality prohibit - practicing crony capitalism, forcefully taking your money for the purpose of paying off a politician’s political friends. That’s one of the most important signals we can send to level the economic playing field for all Americans.

Our tax code has 3.8 million words and is too complicated for the average American to understand, and it has a corporate tax rate of almost 40 percent that makes America hopelessly uncompetitive. It advantages companies large enough to hire an army of lawyers to exploit it. I’ll end the practice of crony capitalism and special-interest influence in Washington because, as a federal tax lawyer, I’ll abolish the tax code, the place where most of Washington’s influence peddling occurs. I’ll replace it with one that is simpler, fairer and flatter, in which every American pays something, even if it is $10 a year, because every American has a stake in America.

Reforming our tax code and ending crony capitalism will send a signal to small businesses, the true job-creation engine of our economy, that they’ll be treated the same as large corporations. Lowering corporate tax rates will make American businesses more competitive and keep them from shipping jobs overseas. That overhaul will include repatriating the more than $1 trillion held overseas by U.S. corporations that could have an immediate private-sector stimulative effect on our economy. These economic policies will send a signal that we will enact permanent free-market solutions for our economy and end the temporary gimmicks that have had such devastating effects.

I’ll also begin the process of undoing the enormous government regulatory burden on America. I’ll start by legalizing American energy production, which will bring down the cost of gas, create millions of jobs and decrease our dependency on foreign sources of energy.

While the economy is rightly at the top of voters’ minds this election season, we also need to consider who can be the best commander in chief from Day One. Of all the Republican candidates in the race, I am the only one with current experience in national security. As president, I will ensure America remains free, safe and sovereign - the greatest force for good the world has ever known. And on Day One, I’ll announce that we’re moving our Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, and I’ll attend its opening within the first 100 days. I’ll make sure Iran knows I will not tolerate it obtaining a nuclear weapon and will take whatever action is necessary to prevent that.

I’ll also secure our border and begin building the fence in the first 100 days. I’ll begin immediately enforcing our immigration laws, empower our border agents and help the states instead of suing them. And I’ll submit legislation to make English the official language of our federal government.

Finally, I’ll defend the family. I will ensure that Planned Parenthood no longer receives federal funding. and I’ll immediately re-establish the Mexico City policy and other policies aimed at protecting life from conception to natural death. America cannot be strong until its families, the most basic unit of government, are strong.

I understand this agenda to be ambitious, but we have little time to reverse the very damaging policies of President Obama. As president of the United States, I will be prepared to meet those challenges and do the hard work necessary to restore America to being the leader it can be for you and your children and mine.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, is running for president.

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