- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Commentators have compared this year’s presidential contest to momentous elections from 1860 to 1980 and everything before, since and in between. The United States has stared down many threats to the Union before, and history would have been much different if Abraham Lincoln hadn’t been elected at the cusp of the Civil War nor Ronald Reagan sent to the White House to win a Cold War America was losing. No previous political season, however, had an incoming president staring ahead to such a long, cold winter as this republic now faces. Deficits and debt are bankrupting the nation. America needs a turnaround specialist to save the Land of the Free from its own mismanagement. That man is Mitt Romney.

Existential crises beckon greatness from national leaders. It usually isn’t obvious beforehand where the inner strength to fight for the future will be found. Certainly no one would have predicted what a profound effect a country lawyer from Illinois would have in the middle of the 19th century or the Hollywood actor — also from Illinois — in the 20th. One fact is manifestly evident though: American greatness will not be resurrected by the community organizer from Illinois who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism. On President Obama’s watch, annual federal deficits top $1 trillion and the national debt raced past $16.2 trillion and is on pace to surpass $22 trillion (or 137 trillion Chinese yuan) by the time the next presidential term concludes in 2016. Already, Washington owes $140,915 per U.S. household, and the national debt continues to grow at a rate of $4 billion per day.

It isn’t alarmist to warn that out-of-control big government threatens freedom. No external enemy or internal insurrection can pose as much danger to the republic as our own indiscipline and profligacy. What will it mean when U.S. debt passes 22 thousand billion in four years? The Federal Reserve can tinker with the currency, keep the printing presses pumping out dollars and manipulate the markets, but that won’t change the harsh reality that the United States is tapped out.

Our politicians have to go hat-in-hand to foreign leaders for handouts, and those anxious to have us in their debt include regimes opposed to our democratic values such as communist China. Being indebted to foreign powers such as Beijing gives them sway in our affairs. This has severe national-security implications, and all so the bloated bureaucracy can waste trillions on programs a debtor nation no longer has the luxury to afford. “I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it,” Gov. Romney has vowed.

The United States needs a leader to fight today’s fiscal battle. With more than 23 million Americans unemployed and economic growth limping to reach 1.5 percent, the most pressing challenge is to revive the economy to get people working again. This will take an experienced executive to cut government spending and regulation to unchain the dynamism of the private sector. Mr. Romney has spent his life taking failing companies and revamping operations to make them competitive; he has the skills to do the same in the Oval Office. The Washington Times endorses Republican Mitt Romney for president.

The Washington Times