The 2012 presidential race, which pits incumbent Obama against Republican challenger Mitt Romney, presents voters with a referendum on the president’s agenda of the past four years, as well as the opportunity to pick a new leader with a new plan.
Looking back, the question isn’t about whether we’re better off today than we were four years ago. Most people say they aren’t. The key questions are whether we can afford a repeat of the past four years — and whether we can trust the president to do anything differently in a second term.
Is Obama’s “forward” really the right direction?
It’s time to take off the blindfolds and look around.
On foreign policy, Obama has garnered accolades for ending the war in Iraq, though by all accounts he merely was following the timeline for withdrawal established by his predecessor, George W. Bush. Meanwhile, U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan have more than doubled during Obama’s presidency, jumping past 2,135.
The White House also is credited with killing Osama bin Laden, one of the terrorist masterminds behind the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But if Obama is to be buoyed by the military’s successful mission against the world’s most wanted man, he also must accept responsibility for the failure to prevent the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy personnel on the anniversary of 9/11 in Benghazi, Libya, as well as allowing Iran to work with Russia to build an operational nuclear power reactor toward its goal of developing nuclear weapons.
Domestically, the president’s biggest accomplishment has been the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a sweeping health care reform bill known to many as “Obamacare.” The legislation aims to close the gap for uninsured Americans and eliminate problematic elements of the current health care system, namely pre-existing condition clauses. Unfortunately, the bill also includes more than a few surprises — among them a price tag $1 trillion more than we were promised and the fact millions of Americans still won’t be covered under the president’s new plan. In addition, promises that health care premiums would be lowered by the reform bill also proved false, with employee and company contributions already being forced higher as a result of the new law.
To say the president has had a successful term is to ignore reality and put the blindfolds back on.
Obama’s plan for the next four years doesn’t include the word “change,” which he used so abundantly in 2008. His second term is all about moving forward — forward on a failed agenda that spends more money than we have, gives greater control over our lives to the government and eschews personal accountability at every turn.
Americans have been adamant about what they want: a leader who can bring sparring political factions together to hammer out solutions to the problems facing our country — first and foremost, pulling us out of the sour economy.
Obama has blamed many of his struggles with such issues on “obstructionist” Republicans in Congress. Regardless of who’s to blame, is there any reason to believe the next four years would see any more compromise between Obama and GOP lawmakers?
As the former Republican governor of a liberal state, Massachusetts, and a successful businessman, Romney is uniquely qualified to tackle these problems with a new perspective and a new hope for making America thrive again.
The GOP candidate has made the economy one of his key focuses, developing a five-part plan for reversing negative economic trends, getting more people back to work and increasing worker pay. Romney’s proposal emphasizes private-sector efforts rather than trying to rebuild the economy through government hiring. Among its chief points:
• Achieve energy independence by 2020;
• Level the playing field on international trade, removing incentives that allow foreign countries to steal American jobs, as well as opening new markets for American goods;
• Give Americans the educational tools needed to succeed, beginning with K-12, but also expanding higher education and job training opportunities;
• Cut the deficit by capping federal spending and involving states in making federal mandates and programs more cost-effective; and
• Champion small businesses by reforming individual and corporate tax rates, removing bureaucratic red tape and replacing the Affordable Care Act with a health care plan better-suited to employees’ and businesses’ needs.
Americans don’t have to simply hope for change with Romney’s plan. His goals — from boosting free enterprise to strengthening a modern U.S. workforce — are spelled out in his platform at www.mittromney.com/jobs. With his proven drive and initiative, we believe Romney is the candidate who truly will move our country forward.
Picking a president isn’t a game.
And we can’t afford to give Obama a do-over when his plans remain unchanged.
— Tommy Felts, managing editor