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Here's the case against the president's re-election: His economic policies turned a bad situation worse and are killing our recovery, by Steve Thomas and D.J. McGuire.
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Then there is health care. The president's attempt at reform does nothing to address the growing health care shortage in America. Obsessed over "cost curves" and indifferent to expanding the health care industry, the president's Plan 9 from Outer Space is expected to cost nearly $2 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office, push Medicare years closer to bankruptcy, and still leave more than 30 million Americans uninsured. Is it really a surprise that a majority of Americans support the repeal and replacement of this Rube Goldberg scheme?
Speaking of complex plans that collapse under their own weight, we have the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, whose burdensome new requirements placed at the feet of consumers and businesses have all but halted new lending. Thanks to a misdiagnosis of the Panic of 2008, the president concluded too-big-to-fail should be replaced by too-restricted-to-try--and those are just the parts of Dodd-Frank that have been implemented.
Why should banks--or anyone else--take the risks necessary to advance the economy when the government can replace some or all of a private company's board of directors if it doesn't like the company's direction? How can anyone in the private sector guess the effect of more than 200 sections of the bill that are left to bureaucrats to write and execute? In the midst of this uncertainty, business expansion and the bank loans that fuel them have practically halted.
All of these failures would have been catastrophic in and of themselves, let alone all at once. Yet even they pale in comparison to the president's $750 billion-plus "stimulus." This massive boondoggle sacrificed the economy on the altar of Keynesian theory--just as the academic revolt against the rigid, inflexible, and unadaptable Keynesian methods broke out into mainstream discussion. Thanks in no small part to this debacle, all four of the president's budgets (Congress refused to pass the appropriations bills for much of FY2009 until the president assumed office) will have deficits of more than $1 trillion. No president before him ever had deficits of half a trillion. Not one.
What does the president have in mind to fix the mess that we admit he inherited, but that he refuses to acknowledge he made worse? He offers nothing, except various plans to tax wealthier Americans, which would even further reduce business investment while barely registering on the federal budget, and invective against Mitt Romney.
Romney, by contrast, has proposed tax reductions for all Americans (instead of tax increases), supported reforming Medicare to make it stronger (instead of raiding it to make it weaker), backed greater use of America and her neighbors' national resources (instead of less), and proposed making the business climate more friendly to innovation and entrepreneurship (versus sclerotic regulation and fear).
This is the better path for America's economy, and it is why Mitt Romney must be elected instead of the incumbent this November.
Steve Thomas is chairman of the Spotsylvania Republican Party. D.J. McGuire is an adjunct instructor of economics at Germanna Community College and former Lee Hill District Republican chairman.