Gov. Ron DeSantis finally unveiled his economic plan for his 2024 presidential bid. He called his economic agenda the “Declaration of Economic Independence,” referring to the Declaration of Independence.
His economic plan is a 10-point proposal that focuses essentially on three major elements: reducing taxes, cutting regulations, and promoting American manufacturing. Indeed, his economic plan is very “Reagan-ish” to some extent.
On reducing taxes, DeSantis proposes cutting taxes for individuals, businesses, and corporations. He also proposes eliminating the death tax and repealing the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate.
On cutting regulations, he proposes rolling back a number of regulations that he believes are stifling economic growth. These include regulations on energy production, environmental protection, and occupational licensing.
And on promoting American manufacturing, he proposes increasing tariffs on imported goods and providing tax breaks for companies that manufacture goods in the United States. He also proposes investing in infrastructure and education to support American manufacturing.
His desire to increase tariffs is based on his trade policy agenda with China. Undeniably, Ron DeSantis has been a vocal critic of China's trade practices, and he has proposed a number of policies that he would implement if he were elected president. These measures include ending China’s preferential trade status, banning imports of goods from stolen intellectual property, and preventing companies from sharing critical technologies with China.
Indeed, DeSantis' trade policy with China is based on the principle of "putting America first." He believes that the United States should not be afraid to stand up to China, and he has said that he would be willing to use tariffs and other measures to protect American interests.
The problem with increasing tariffs is that it will lead to higher prices for U.S. consumers, and reduce competition. Indeed, increase the cost of imported goods, which can lead to higher prices for consumers. This is because the importer has to pay the tariff, and they will pass this cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices. Moreover, increasing tariffs also reduces competition because they make it more difficult for foreign companies to compete with domestic companies, which can lead to less choice for U.S. consumers.
For example, the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods led to higher prices for U.S. consumers, and job losses in some sectors. According to the Tax Foundation, Trump’s tariffs on Chinese goods increased the cost of living for American consumers by $1.4 billion per month. The study also found that the tariffs led to higher prices for goods such as electronics, clothing, and furniture. Thus, Gov. DeSantis shall be mindful of the implications of increasing tariffs before implementing them. While the intention may be genuine, the outcome will hurt those that it intended to help.
The economic plan seeks, however, to achieve 3% annual growth through a broad series of tax reforms aimed to incentivize domestic investment, while restricting foreign lobbying and banning members of Congress from trading individual stocks, according to CNBC.
DeSantis also addressed the issue of student loans in his plan. His plan includes making universities responsible for student debt, which means that universities would have to make sure that their graduates are able to find good-paying jobs after graduation, or else would be responsible for paying off the student loans themselves.
Moreover, his plan on student loans also includes allowing the loans to be discharged through bankruptcy, which would make it easier for borrowers to get out of debt, and to increase the availability of income-based repayment plans, which will allow borrowers to repay their loans on their income.
Overall, Gov. DeSantis' economic plan is very similar to that of Donald Trump in some respect, especially on trade policy, regulations, and taxes. It is clear that the plan is based on a number of conservative economic principles that have been popular with Republican voters in recent years. What makes his economic plan different than Trump's is not yet clear. As the election progresses, we will find out the differentiators.