Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Friday unveiled her economic proposal, which includes cutting middle-class taxes, tackling inflation and national debt and reducing federal government control.
The former South Carolina governor is rolling out her plan during a speech at St. Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester. Her remarks come just days ahead of the second Republican presidential debate in California, with Haley seeing a bump in GOP primary polling since her performance at the first debate in Milwaukee last month.
Dubbed “The Freedom Plan,” Haley’s proposal would eliminate the federal gas and reduce income tax rates, make small-business tax relief permanent, and end certain tax deductions such as the deduction for state and local income taxes, also known as SALT.
Haley, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Clemson University, often touts her financial background on the campaign trail, telling voters, “It’s time to put an accountant in the White House.”
Haley believes funding for infrastructure projects should come from general revenues, forcing them to compete with other spending priorities.
“We have to get more money in our taxpayers’ pockets. … It’s a small portion of what actually goes to pave roads and of that portion a lot of it goes to bike trails and hiking trails and things like that. The Highway Trust Fund hasn’t been solvent in years,” she said during an interview Wednesday on Fox Business.
Additionally, her plan would place a limit on federal spending, linked to a percentage of the economy.
Haley, who served as US ambassador to the United Nations under Donald Trump, has sought to seek a balance between criticism and praise for the former president.
While she called Trump the right president for the right time at a recent campaign stop in New Hampshire, she criticized his handling of the economy while in office, asserting that he “didn’t do anything on fiscal policy and really spent a lot of money, and we’re all paying the price for it.”
Since launching her presidential campaign in February, Haley has often vowed that if elected, she will “stop the spending” and “stop the borrowing,” while emphasizing her plans to “claw back” $500 billion of unspent Covid-19 funds.
Under her proposal, Haley would veto any budget that doesn’t contribute to reducing the US economy to pre-Covid spending levels, eliminate $500 billion in green energy subsidies and implement mandatory zero-based budgeting. The plan would also implement Social Security and Medicare reforms for younger generations.
Haley’s proposal is part of her larger plan to revive America’s middle class and an attempt to reverse the Biden administration’s economic policies, dubbed by the White House as “Bidenomics.”
“[President Joe] Biden can say whatever he wants about Bidenomics. We feel it when we go into the grocery store. We feel it when we fill up our tank with gas. We feel it with the high cost of rent and the fact that interest rates have gone up and you can’t afford a home. We know inflation is real,” she said in an interview on Newsmax.
While Haley frequently blames Democrats for the current state of the economy, she is often quick to point the finger at her fellow Republicans, saying that both parties “spend like drunken sailors.”
“I would love to be able to say, ‘Oh, it’s just Biden that did this to us.’ But I’ve always spoken the hard truths. Our Republicans did that to us too,” Haley said Thursday at a campaign event in New Hampshire.
“We are now $33 trillion in debt. We are having to borrow money just to make our interest payments,” Haley added, as a potential government shutdown looms with lawmakers in Washington yet to reach a deal to extend funding past the September 30 deadline.