6. Quickly approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, delayed by Obama because of environmental concerns, as part of the push for more energy supply.
7. Label China a currency manipulator. Central to Romney's pledge to get tougher with unfair trade practices. The move would set the stage for broad trade penalties and could lead to a trade war between the two huge economies.
8. Overhaul immigration laws. The features of Romney's plan are foggier than Obama's, but he favors a strengthened system of tracking illegal immigrants through their U.S. employers, supports completion of the U.S.-Mexico border fence and opposes any broad-based move to establish a path to citizenship except for those who served in the armed forces. He promises to achieve this overhaul before the two-year work permits granted by Obama expire, and he would honor those in the meantime. Promises those who study legally in the U.S. that "if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here— so we will staple a green card to your diploma."
9. Protect Medicare for those in or near retirement, change it for future retirees. Starting in 2022, retirees could choose to buy their own health insurance, with voucher-like payments from the government, or stay with traditional Medicare. Questions persist about whether the payments would be sufficient and whether traditional Medicare would remain as comprehensive as now.
10. Turn Medicaid over to the states with block grants, a huge change to a major program. Sure to cause a donnybrook in Congress — and an important step for conservatives who want states overall to gain more authority and flexibility from Washington.
11. Seek freer trade with Latin America and other parts of the world, a leading element of Romney's job-creation pledge.
12. Day One alone: "Start the process of repealing Obamacare" with waivers, cut off federal money for Planned Parenthood and the U.N. Population Fund, reinstate the policy banning federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information, designate China a currency manipulator, "reverse every single Obama regulation that attacks our religious liberty and threatens innocent life," take "bold action" to create jobs, and — perhaps after lunch?— "do everything in my power to end these days of drift and disappointment."
EDITOR'S NOTE _ An occasional look at promises of the presidential candidates
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