THE CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES: #1 THE ECONOMY; ANDERSON
Coping with inflation Anderson decries the "twin scourges" of inflation and high interest rates. The "investment oriented" economy of the United States, he says, "must be an economy based on lower interest rates, and lower interest rates can only be realized with lower inflation rates. To curb inflation, we must significantly reduce the size of the federal deficit -- and eliminate it if possible. To do this, we must restrain the growth of spending.
"A tax cut would be inflationary at this time, and should be opposed. The US should recalculate the index used to determine cost-of-living payments to civil service and military retirees; such benefits should be paid only once a year, instead of semi- annually as at present."
Anderson sponsored a still-pending measure which would limit growth in federal spending to 20 percent of the estimated annual gross national product.
Anderson opposes mandatory wage and price controls. On taking office, he would set up a wage- price incentives program and try to get labor and management leaders to agree on "fair and realistic wage and price guidelines." Tax relief and reform
Immediate tax cuts would be "irresponsible." Anderson projects, under his economic program, federal budget deficits of $26.7 billion for fiscal 1981 and $ 18.5 billion for 1982. There would be a $4 billion surplus in 1983, and after that there would be enough money for a broad-based tax cut, he says.
The Anderson platform says his administration would not "propose tax cuts that run counter to the goal of balancing federal revenues and expenditures." Anderson would, however, immediately try to institute "indexing" to keep inflation from pushing taxpayers into higher brackets. He would also phase out restrictions on savings account interest rates and expand the interest and dividend income exclusion from $200 for individuals and $400 for married couples to $750 and $1,500.
Anderson stands by the proposal he made at the outset of the primary campaign for a 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline to encourage conservation, "recyling" the revenue from that tax to reduce social-security taxes -- a growing burden on wage earners -- by 50 percent. Revitalizing US industry
The Anderson platform says: "We believe that the major engine for American economic growth during the 1980s will come from small- and medium-sized businesses as they grow into large business. Therefore, we will also seek to encourage their formation and expansion in recognition of their role as the principal providers of new jobs and technologies in our economy."
Specific Anderson proposals include: "elimination of unnecessary regulations, . . . liberalized tax depreciation allowances that would permit business to write off structures in 20 years and capital equipment in 2, 4, 7, 10 years, depending on the nature of the equipment . . . , permitting small businesses to write off the first $50,000 of new capital acquisition each year . . . , a 25 percent tax credit for rehabilitation of existing industrial and commercial structures."
Anderson also calls for tax credits as well as more direct federal assistance for research and development, and helping distressed companies by extending "the full benefits of the investment tax credit" to them and making the credit refundable.
Anderson would increase federal funding for Research and Development and provide a 10 percent tax credit for certain R&D expenditures. Reducing unemployment
The independent candidate's platform says: "A sound economic policy must incorporate a commitment to full employment. We reaffirm the goals of the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. . . ."
He prefers direct, job-creating programs rather than depending on tax reductions to stimulate industry and thus widen the job market. He supports "countercyclical revenue-sharing programs to aid cities and towns in meeting payrolls during recession, a $2 billion youth training act, a $1 billion youth energy projects act, and extension of unemployment benefits."
Anderson would seek to expand the role of private employers in federally sponsored job-training efforts, such as Title VII of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act.
On the specific problem of high unemployment among urban black youths, he urges using the new federal Department of Education to upgrade basic education for inner-city children and make them more trainable and employable.
Anderson also pledges to bolster programs that help unemployed women with families, particularly in the inner cities, to find meaningful work. Balancing the federal budget
Anderson holds: "We cannot halt inflation until we stop printing money faster than we produce goods and services. But we can only slow the creation of money if we restore the balance of our federal budget, not in every year, necessarily, but rather over the course of each business cycle. This will require moderation , discipline, and the willingness to make hard, explicit choices. . . .
"In ordinary times, federal expenditures should not exceed revenues. Thus, while declining tax revenues and increasing transfer payments can be expected to unbalance the budget during times of economic difficulty, the budget should be in balance, or in surplus, during times of economic expansion. . . .
"An Anderson administration will oppose any new constitutional limitation on the spending and taxing powers of Congress. Necessary budget reforms . . . should be enacted in the form of amendments to the Congressional Budget Act." Agricultural prosperity
Anderson's support of the Carter administration's embargo of feed-grain shipments to the Soviet Union -- a stand that set him apart from his rivals for the Republican nomination earlier in 1980 -- remains firm. Aside from that, however, he would work to expand farm exports and "negotiate aggressively to reduce protectionist barriers overseas."
He supports the concept of price "parity" for farm products but says in his platform that he would "reexamine the parity formula and other proposals for measuring the equability of farm commodity prices," seeking the views of both farmers and consumers in the process.
Anderson would seek such steps as reforming real estate inheritance tax laws and expanding low-interest loans to young farmers for keeping families in farming and attracting new ones into the agriculture business. He would seek to ensure "fair and equitable" access to credit by farmers, protect farmers from overregulation by government, and reform tax laws to keep farms out of the hands of those who want them only for tax-loss purposes.