What Kind of Government Do You Want?

Before we go to the polls in November to cast our ballots in this critically important presidential election, we must closely examine the stances, platforms and intentions of those running for the highest executive job in the nation. In the midst of the campaign tumult that has already begun, let us never forget that the leader of this great county will be selected by us, the citizens of the USA, using our own minds and our own opinions.

From what we have seen in the past three and a half years, Democratic President Barack Obama envisions a very specific type of government for America, one based largely on the model of European Socialism. As such, he would require Washington to heavily intervene (some may say intrude) in the very fabric of citizens’ lives – from their health care to their personal financial situations. That intervention goes far beyond the citizen level to that of banks, auto manufacturers and other private sector institutions that he has infused with public money during his presidency.

Republican Mitt Romney has a totally different vision. He sees job and income growth coming only from a growing, successful capitalist private sector. Government, he says, can create innumerable public sector jobs, but in doing so, it supplants the private sector and ultimately depresses the prosperity of its citizens.

Creating good, lasting jobs, Romney said in an op-ed piece in USA Today on 3/31/11, will require the following:

  • A tax policy that rewards savings, investment, entrepreneurial risk-taking and exports.
  • Free, open and fair access to foreign markets, with a focus on constructive trade reform with China.
  • Elimination of the federal bureaucratic and regulatory stranglehold on business.
  • A market-driven energy policy that encourages investment in America and reduces our dependence on foreign oil.
  • A commitment to fiscal responsibility through budget restraints and entitlement reform.”

Mr. Obama’s campaign web page claims the sitting president has, since taking office in January 2009, stemmed the job hemorrhage from the 2008 recession and has since created more than four million jobs. His web page postulates the following:

  • 504,000: Jobs added in the manufacturing sector since January 2010
  • 233,000: Jobs added in the auto industry since June 2009—the most growth in a decade
  • 100%: The percent of investment in plants and equipment that businesses could expense under a tax cut extension President Obama proposed, which would spur investment in the United States
  • 18%: Tax deduction President Obama has proposed for domestic advanced manufacturing technologies—which would double the current 9 percent deduction
  • 20%: Income tax credit the President has proposed providing to companies on expenses related to moving operations back to the United States

It’s clear that his website offers little, if any, substantiation for these figures.  And the chief executive still uses the rationalization that a lot of work still needs to be done to improve the economy.

One need only look at some of Obama’s failed policies to find contradictions to his boast of considerable job creation.  He cites increases in manufacturing employment while factories still sit idle.  He talks of saving auto industry jobs, but only with a massive dose of government cash – much of which the auto trade has not paid back. (Ditto for the banking industry).

Assessing what Obama calls his overall economic achievement, one could easily conclude that the figures just don’t support the results.  And the results are clearly visible on the streets of America – streets pock-marked with closed factories, shuttered stores and empty businesses.  If Obama has created so many jobs, one may ask, where are they?

Mr. Romney offers an interesting assessment of his own.  His website says: “President Obama didn’t cause the recession, but he made it worse and caused it to last longer. From the outset, he inaugurated the most anti-investment, anti-business, anti-jobs policies we have seen since Jimmy Carter. Further, the White House has still not crafted any discernible plan to put Americans back to work.”

It’s a fact that President Obama has not kept up with his promises.  Many of his stimulus efforts have failed. Mitt Romney himself pointed out that Obama has held 106 fundraisers in the past few months, but he has not met once with his jobs council. Clearly, Mr. Obama lives in a world where charisma speaks louder than ideas.  He can “wow” a crowd at Century Village in West Palm Beach (as reported by the Palm Beach Post), but can he make a point that has substance and depth?

Mr. Romney doesn’t get folksy with crowds – which has drawn some flak from constituents. But he does stick to facts. And as he said in a 2010 article in USA Today, “a pro-job, pro-prosperity government works to create the conditions that enable businesses of all sizes to grow and thrive. These should include aligning corporate taxes with those of other developed economies, eliminating special corporate tax breaks that lobbyists have inserted over the years, and preserving the Bush tax cuts — especially for small business.”

Before you vote, look deeply at the candidates.  Don’t just listen to the words, but pay attention to the message.

   August 1, 2012

By: Carlo Barbieri

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