THE CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES: #1 THE ECONOMY; REAGAN
Coping with inflation Like the other two major candidates, Reagan firmly opposes wage and price controls. He says: "The only way to curb inflation is to make a bold commitment to real economic growth, restrain federal spending, and bring the growth in the supply of money back into line with the economy's ability to increase its output of goods and services."
His across-the-board tax cuts of 30 percent over a three-year period, he argues, would dampen rather than fuel inflation by restoring the "incentive to produce, increasing jobs and the supply of goods and services. . . ."
Reagan holds that the cost of government and the resulting size of the federal budget is one of the main causes of inflation. He points to his record of cutting waste and fraud in the California welfare system and says he would do the same with the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, besides cutting back other parts of the federal bureaucracy such as the Department of Education and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Tax relief and reform
A major feature of the economic program of a Reagan administration would be a 30 percent across-the-board cut in federal income taxes in three years -- the so-called Kemp-Roth plan. The GOP nominee argues that this would not reduce overall revenues, but only offset a "built-in tax increase" that would amount to plan would start with a 10 percent income tax cut effective Jan. 1, 1981.
In addition, Reagan says, "The most insidious tax increase is the one we must pay when inflation pushes us into higher tax brackets. . . . Federal personal income taxes should be based on real income" and "should be indexed to compensate for inflation, once tax rates have been reduced."
The Republican platform says, "We disapprove of the bias in the federal tax system against working spouses. . . . We deplore this 'marriage tax' and call for equity in the tax treatment of families." Revitalizing US industry
Reagan's proposals for stimulating US industrial growth and productivity rely on deregulation, tax cuts, and liberalization of depreciation allowances. But the Republican candidate puts greatest emphasis on what he sees as the heavy hand of government interference in free enterprise.
Reagan says he would order "a total review of thousands and thousands of regulations" and get rid of those that he feels are unnecessarily burdensome to "the shopkeeper, the farmer, and the individual, as well as to business and industry."
He has outlined a five-year economic-recovery program which includes his well-known tax-cut proposals, a balanced budget, and establishment of a sound monetary policy administered through the independent Federal Reserve System.
Two weeks before President Carter announced his plan to aid steel companies, Reagan released his. It would speed up depreciation schedules for steel firms, relax environmental requirements that might force plant closings, and strictly enforce "laws which prohibit foreign governments from dumping subsidized goods [ including steel] in America." Reducing unemployment
The Reagan position on jobs, as articulated by both the candidate and the Republican platform, essentially is that if the health of the business economy is restored, most of the unemployed will be put back to work. President Carter has "created and molded" a situation in which "workers and their families are suffering more than at any time since the Great Depression of the 1930s," Reagan declares.
The GOP candidate counts on his "strategy for economic growth" to generate jobs for Americans in all areas of the nation and at all employment levels. Among specific factors in reducing unemployment, he has mentioned "enterprise zones" in cities where taxes and regulations would be relaxed to encourage firms to come in and provide jobs; the effect on the job market for skilled workers of the defense buildup he promises; reduction of payroll tax rates and a youth differential for the minimum wage to encourage hiring of unskilled young persons by local businesses.
Reagan supports "comprehensive programs" of training and job placement for disadvantaged youths, stressing the role of the private sector in such programs.
Balancing the federal budget
Reagan pledges to balance the federal budget in two years. He forecasts a surplus of $93 billion by fiscal 1985, which would begin in the last year of his first term as president. The Republican candidate also says his administration would slow the growth of federal spending by 2 percent a year for the first two years and that the rate would be 1 percent annually for the next three years.
"Balancing the budget is essential," says Reagan. "However, we must ensure that the federal government does not balance the budget on the backs of the taxpayers by increasing already high tax rates. Balancing the budget and controlling inflation must the achieved by strictly limited federal spending."
Of the three major candidates, Reagan is the only one who favors the proposal for a constitutional amendment that would require a balanced federal budget. Agricultural prosperity
Reagan calls the embargo on feed-grain shipments to the Soviet Union ineffective and pledges to call it off. In addition, he pledges "direct, presidential support" to "aggressive expansion" of agricultural exports.
He says he favors "parity" in the sense that it means "fairness" to farmers in the prices they get for their crops. "When we get this economy back on track again and get control of . . . inflation, farmers can have a vigorously strong marketplace in which they can work for the goal of full parity."
Reagan also promises farmers a stronger voice in making agricultural policy. He says he would review regulatory programs with an eye to removing "unnecessary and counterproductive regulations and reports."
The Republican platform Reagan is running on sets the goal of "surpassing parity levels in a market-oriented agricultural economy." It decries the failure of "more than 100,000 family farms" in the past four years.
The GOP cites the "exemplary" soil and water conservation "stewardship" of American farmers, ranchers, and others. It encourages "appropriate local, state , and federal programs to give conservation practices vitality."