The man who will lead the nation over the next four years will take the oath of office in just four months. Work begins next Thursday on hammering together the elaborate West Front Capitol stage on which either Barack Obama or Mitt Romney will stand and deliver the inaugural address.
When Mr. Obama lifted his right hand on a chilly January morning in 2009 and swore on a Bible to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, the national debt was $10.6 trillion and the budget deficit $455 billion. He boldly proclaimed he would cut that deficit in half by the end of his first term. It never happened.
Deficit spending soared past the trillion-dollar mark every year of his administration. The reckless borrowing binge swelled the accumulated red ink by half to $16 trillion. Mr. Obama's budget for 2013 promises more of the same, calling for outlays that would break the $25 trillion debt barrier in 10 years.
Mr. Romney wants to take the country in the opposite direction. On his first day in the Oval Office, he has promised to send a bill to Capitol Hill cutting non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent across the board, then capping future outlays at pre-Obama, 2008 levels. The former Massachusetts governor's goal is to get record-high federal spending back below 20 percent of gross domestic product.
While both Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney assure us better times are ahead, Mr. Romney has a track record that inspires more confidence. At Bain Capital, the venture-capital firm he founded, he turned struggling companies into thriving enterprises. Mr. Obama can point to no economic or business success.
This president continues to preside over an official unemployment rate of no less than 8 percent, not counting the millions who have given up looking for a job. Mr. Romney vows to replace Mr. Obama's failed Jimmy Carter-era economic schemes with Ronald Reagan-style policies that work.
Should Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. administer the oath to Mr. Obama once more, taxpayers can expect to cut bigger checks to the Internal Revenue Service. Mr. Obama's budget called for $1.9 trillion in new taxes, not counting the $810 billion of taxes in Obamacare. Taxes on small businesses would rise as high as 45 percent -- a move that would shrink the economy by 1.3 percent and eliminate 710,000 jobs.
Mr. Romney said he would work to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care as soon as he gets to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Mr. Romney also would make the tax code simpler and fairer, eventually lowering everyone's rates by 20 percent.
A second term for Mr. Obama ensures bankruptcy for Medicare. The One has no plan to keep the health care plan for seniors afloat, nor any strategy to stop it from draining the Treasury. Mr. Romney and his vice presidential nominee, Paul Ryan, have a strong blueprint to reform Medicare and sustain it without affecting anyone over the age of 55.
Mr. Romney proposes common-sense changes such as slowly raising the retirement age and means testing for Social Security. The president wants to keep the Ponzi scheme as is, which is an unsustainable proposition.
The choice over who stands on the platform on Jan. 21 will determine America's future. It's time to hammer home the importance of choosing wisely.
The Washington Times
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