“I wish President Obama had succeeded because I want America to succeed. But his promises gave way to disappointment and division. This isn’t something we have to accept. …”
— Mitt Romney, in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention
An embrace of a Mitt Romney presidency requires, at the outset, the judgment the incumbent has not earned a second term. We believe this to be the case.
We do not take issue, as some do, with everything President Obama has attempted during his presidency. But his record, particularly when it comes to the economy and reining in our runaway national debt, is sorely lacking.
On this point alone we feel confident in recommending Mr. Romney to voters as the best choice for the next four years.
Mr. Romney promotes an “all of the above” energy policy that takes no options off the table in pursuing North American energy independence. He rightly sees this as a critical element in growing jobs, improving the U.S. economy and projecting strength in our relations with foreign interests.
The Republican former governor, with his well-known extensive experience in business, also is passionate about job training and vocational education that equips people for the specialized and technical labor force needs of the future.
But he makes the point that job-retraining doesn’t help much unless there are jobs available — a damning indictment of an Obama presidency that has been marked by record high unemployment and untold millions of workers who are underemployed.
Mr. Romney responsibly would insist regulators crack down on trading partners who cheat and put American industries at a competitive disadvantage. He also would promote pragmatic policies to support small businesses, including streamlining regulations.
And yet, for all of these helpful initiatives, the centerpiece of a Romney domestic agenda likely would be his focus on tax reform and overhaul of entitlement programs. Mr. Romney proposes to limit this kind of nondiscretionary domestic spending to 20 percent of the economy, down from 24 percent today.
This is far from an attack on the “47 percent” who pay no income tax and the millions of other Americans who receive government welfare assistance. Rather, a compelling argument can be made Mr. Romney’s proposals to grow the economy offer this group of citizens the best chance for gaining financial independence.
As president, he would seek to stimulate job growth and increase household net worth by cutting income tax rates by 20 percent and lowering the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent from 35 percent. The rates would drop, but deductions would be trimmed as well so as not to add to the deficit — now an alarming $16 trillion and counting.
In short, his policies are about promoting economic growth, constraining the growth of government, and lowering our costly debt obligations — all steps that ultimately will serve to shore up, rare than tear apart, the safety nets for the disadvantaged.
Mr. Romney’s prescription for a resurgent America comes down to his belief in empowering businesses, individuals and families. We are convinced of his ability to promote his ideas and to work across party lines.
This stands in stark contrast with President Obama, who promised a bipartisan approach but failed to deliver. We have seen this on health care, on the $830 billion in stimulus spending, and on his failure to endorse the credible Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction plan.
One critic in The Washington Post summed it up: “At key moments of his presidency, Obama ducked the duty to lead in forging bipartisan solutions to the nation’s biggest problems.”
It’s a sobering assessment, and one that rings true.