Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is positioning himself as the economic defender of the American family, building on his claim that he is protecting them culturally.
The 2024 Republican presidential candidate on Monday released a 10-point economic plan, which he describes as a “Declaration of Economic Independence.” DeSantis, who remains far behind former President Donald Trump in the polls, is seeking to reboot his campaign by highlighting his record for families and businesses in Florida.
In his economic proposal, he points out that financial inequality has hurt many Americans, sounding at times like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a former Democratic presidential candidate at the other end of the ideological spectrum.
DeSantis notes that the bottom half of households have less wealth today than in 1989, while the top 10% have added $29 trillion to their net worth over the same period. Multinational corporations, particularly tech companies, have seen a massive surge in wealth, while also securing large bailouts and carve-outs – which he terms “venture socialism” that privatizes gains but forces taxpayers to bear the losses.
“‘Too big to fail’ for big institutions has led to ‘too difficult to succeed’ for the middle class,” the plan reads.
However, DeSantis outlines a different path to prosperity than Sanders, a progressive who would give the federal government a bigger role. The governor’s agenda contains a mix of traditional Republican and populist ideals, while promising to reverse many of the policies pushed by President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress.
Here’s what’s in DeSantis’ economic plan:
Change the US relationship with China
DeSantis, who signed a bill this year aimed at limiting China’s influence in Florida, wants to reverse the nation’s trade deficits with China, ban imports of goods made from stolen intellectual property and end China’s preferential trade status.
He would also prevent American companies from sharing critical technologies and bar the sale of assets such as farmland to Chinese Communist Party members and their affiliates. The Florida law prohibits China from purchasing farmland and certain other properties.
Incentivize investment, eliminate bureaucracy and mandate work requirements
DeSantis has a goal of achieving 3% economic growth by slashing regulations – which he said inject “ideological extremism” into the American economy – and overhauling the tax system to incentivize corporations to invest in the US long term.
The plan also calls for permanently extending the lower individual tax rates contained in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was passed by Republicans in Congress and signed by Trump.
Plus, DeSantis would restrict lobbying, move federal agencies out of Washington, DC, and ban individual stock trading by Congress and executive branch officials.
The governor would also institute work requirements for safety net programs and curtail federal spending, two GOP mantras.