Factbox: Increase defense spending, lower individual tax rate. What a President Kasich would do

(Reuters) – Presidential candidate John Kasich, the governor of Ohio and a former congressman, has positioned himself as a conservative Republican who is nonetheless willing to listen to all sides in order to solve problems.

Kasich is challenging outsiders Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner, and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who is known for antagonizing his party, as an alternative who can win the party’s support in the July convention ahead of the Nov. 8 election. These policies are drawn from his website, statements made at debates and interviews.


Kasich has said it is “silly” to think the United States could round up more than 11 million undocumented immigrants and send them back to their home countries.

While he does not support a path to full citizenship for undocumented immigrants, Kasich believes the focus of immigration policies should be keeping families together and creating a path to a legal status for those already in the country who are working and have not committed violent crimes, including establishing a guest worker program.

Kasich does believe this should be underpinned by sealing U.S. borders and has said he would support building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.


“I’m a free trader,” Kasich said in a January presidential debate, saying he supported both the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

He has supported granting the president authority to fast-track trade deals in the past. He has opposed withdrawing from the World Trade Organization.


Kasich’s top priority is a balanced budget and he did a national “balanced budget tour” last year; his presidential campaign events often have a clock with numbers ticking upward, tracking the level of national debt.

Kasich has pledged to cut taxes for individuals and families and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit, along with eliminating the estate tax. Kasich would also like to lower taxes and create incentives for those who create jobs, including by lowering the top business tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent.

Under Kasich’s tax plan, the highest individual tax rate would be lowered to 28 percent from 39.6 percent. He has said he would launch a “top-to-bottom review” of the Internal Revenue Service to eliminate inefficiencies.


Kasich wants to increase defense spending by $102 billion. He has called for a no-fly zone over Syria and a “combat coalition” to fight the Islamic State militant group.

He has said the Syrian refugee crisis is a fundamentally European problem, but the United States should play a role. He believes the United States should “pause” accepting Syrian refugees and that there should be stringent checks.

(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Leslie Adler)

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