I identify myself politically as an independent. When it comes to parties, I feel like I find myself both rolling my eyes and nodding thoughtfully at points made by both Republicans and Democrats. I feel that, today, the economy is the most important component of the election. After taking the initiative to extensively examine both candidates and their strengths and weaknesses, I have decided to put my support behind Mitt Romney.
Four years ago, I got the same warm, fuzzy feeling that many Americans got when the newly inaugurated Barack Obama stood before his countrymen and said, “Change has come to America.” Regardless of who you are supporting, if you are an informed voter, I would venture a guess that this feeling has subsided significantly. What does it say if, arguably, the day of his inauguration is the day when the President has the most support?
The skeleton of our government, the Constitution, was formed off of compromise. If the founding fathers had not been willing to set aside their personal agendas and partisan ideas, our great country simply would not exist as we know it today. 2008, Obama promised to work to bring people together and transcend partisan differences. Instead, politics have undoubtedly become nasty and divided like never before while he has been in office.
“That, it seems to me, is the most important promise that the president has not been able to keep,” said William Galston, a former Clinton administration aide. “It will long be debated by historians whether he tried and failed, or didn’t really try at all.”
Obamacare is the perfect example of this horrific failure: the bill was passed without the support of a single Republican and with a significant number of Democrats voting against it.
This is not the only place where Obama overpromised and under delivered. In 2008, Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. It is undisputed that he didn’t and didn’t even come close. Indeed, the National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.
By the end of his first term, Obama also pledged to “lift two million Americans from poverty” and “jolt our economy back to life.” In particular, Obama promised to bring unemployment down to 5.3%. No one claims that he did this. Some of his supporters have made much of a recent report showing the unemployment rate down to 7.8%. But even that figure doesn’t take into account population growth or the frightening record number of Americans who have simply given up looking for jobs altogether. Taking those into account, there has actually been a net loss of jobs under Obama. And a record 46 million Americans are now living in poverty.
There’s no question that President Obama inherited a bad economy and a huge deficit. But there’s also not much question that he has failed to bring meaningful improvement to the economy and that he has actually made the deficit worse.
So maybe Obama hasn’t been great. But why Mitt Romney? Putting his time in public office aside, he has helped businesses turn around and create jobs in the private sector. Right after 9/11, in 2002, the Salt Lake City Olympics faced bankruptcy and total collapse. Romney took over and made it an enormous success financially. Romney’s record is consistently effective in finding organizations that are struggling to stay afloat and making them succeed. It seems to me that our country is a struggling organization that needs the guidance of a skilled businessman.
But most importantly to me, Romney has proven that he can and does work with Democrats to pass legislations. He was extraordinarily successful as a Republican governor of an overwhelmingly Democratic state. In Massachusetts, he worked across the aisle with Democrats in state legislature on a daily basis. Romney has a plan to spur growth in our economy, which includes reducing taxes for the middle and lower classes (not for the top 1%, a common misconception), and cutting out loopholes and deductions. Opponents of Romney love to say that he hasn’t specified which loopholes and deductions, meaning that he doesn’t actually have a plan. This is untrue; Romney says that he is ready to work with Democrats when he becomes President to find out which deductions and loopholes to cut would make the most sense for our country, instead of trying to cram some massive, comprehensive plan down everyone’s throats (Obamacare, anyone?).
The single most important issue for women—and men—in 2012 is the economy. The polls reflect this: for the first time since Reagan, the Republican candidate actually has the same percentage of women’s support as the Democrat (both Romney and Obama have 47% of the female vote as of October 25).
Four years from today, I will be a senior in college searching for my first real job. I, and my peers, cannot afford to face four more years of unemployment and derision in Washington. I am ready for a President who has proven that he will actually work with his opponents to help our economy to grow.