Elect Mitt Romney as president of the United States
There’s no question President Barack Obama took over the helm of our nation in the midst of its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Our banking system and automobile industry were in danger of imploding. Housing prices were plummeting and unemployment was skyrocketing.
There were also ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama made serious efforts to deal with these problems. He had some successes and a number of failures. But three years and nine months later, with the economy still barely showing any signs of recovery (the much disputed 7.8 percent unemployment rate for September notwithstanding) it’s time to try another path.
Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan offer a real alternative on the economy, entitlements and the national debt.
The argument that their plans aren’t detailed enough is a red herring. Remember that Obama offered only broad outlines of a health care reform plan when he was a candidate. The details were hammered out during negotiations with (mostly Democratic) members of Congress once he was in the White House.
The Daily Sentinel didn’t endorse Obama in 2008, but like so many Americans, those of us who made that decision sincerely hoped he would be successful, even if we disagreed with many of his policy plans.
Obama did have some initial success, first with a stimulus bill that undoubtedly provided a spark to the depressed economy, even if the extent of its impact has been highly contested.
He also won approval for his auto bailout plan — another case in which success is disputed. But the bailout did keep jobs and production going at two major auto companies when both Chrysler and General Motors were failing.
Then there was health care reform, which even Obama apparently now accepts as being referred to as Obamacare. It was the president’s insistence that kept the legislation moving in Congress when most people thought it was dead.
We didn’t support Obamacare as it was approved. We think it would have made more sense to tackle health care incrementally, not in a single massive bill. However, there are some wise pieces to the measure, such as encouraging different trial programs.
Furthermore, we don’t believe Obamacare will be repealed entirely, even if Romney is elected. Republicans are unlikely to have the filibuster-proof majority in the Senate required for repeal. More likely and more responsible is the possibility of revamping the most egregious parts of Obamacare.
Obamacare was the apogee of Obama’s presidency, but it may have also created many problems for the president and the country.
For instance, even liberal Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank has said it would have been better if Obama had concentrated his political efforts on improving the economy.
Moreover, one of the biggest disappointments of Obama’s presidency has been his failure to keep his pledge to change the tone in Washington, to work in a more bipartisan manner.
That failure isn’t Obama’s alone. Republicans in Congress must share the blame. But based on a number of accounts, Obama abandoned any effort at bipartisanship during the fight over Obamacare, when he could get no Republicans to vote for it.
Since then, his presidency has been notable for its lack of bipartisan effort. That’s a failure of leadership, even if Republicans were less than amicable. Both Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan found a way to work with leaders of the opposite party when they wanted to get something accomplished.
On the economy, Obama has barely tried since then. The budget he submitted this year was so unrealistic that it didn’t gain any support, even in the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Another failure of leadership occurred with respect to the debt, even though Obama took an important initial step.
He created the Simpson-Bowles commission on deficit and debt reduction. Then he refused to do anything with the bipartisan and very reasonable recommendations put forth by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles.
Romney and Ryan have a plan that’s much closer to Simpson-Bowles than anything Obama has offered, although it’s not identical.
Obama also promised the most transparent government in history, but has failed to deliver that as well. From Freedom of Information requests, to new provisions in the Patriot Act, to the Fast and Furious gun program to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya, his administration has repeatedly stonewalled or made it more difficult for the public to know what government is doing.
On foreign affairs, Obama has not been nearly as successful as he anticipated — with the exception of getting Osama bin Laden. But no recent president — not Carter, Reagan, Clinton or either one of the Bushes — has been able to devise a successful policy for dealing with the morass that is the Middle East. We do wish Obama would move more swiftly to remove our troops from Afghanistan.
We can’t promise things will be better four years hence if Romney is elected. However, Obama offers little but more of the same ideas under which this nation’s economy has remained stagnant. Also, Wall Street does not seem to trust Obama, which may further restrict economic growth.
The Romney-Ryan plan will be more encouraging to businesses and consumers. It offers more hope for seriously dealing with debt and entitlements and more likelihood of improvement.
Vote for Romney for president.