Going to the polls on Tuesday, Americans will have a stark choice as to who will lead this nation from the White House for the next four years — President Barack Obama, a Democrat, or former Massachuetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican.
Incumbents always have the advantage because they have a track record. But that can be a double-edged sword.
Obama has had four years to lead, and what he has accomplished depends on your political view.
If you consider the first two years of his tenure, the Democrats also controlled Congress, Obama managed to get his comprehensive health care legislation rammed through despite vocal opposition that it was too costly, too cumbersome and looked too much like socialized medicine.
When Republicans took back control of the House, the fight was on, and little has been accomplished since. It has become a stalemate over everything from how to fix the economy and budget to how to implement “Obamacare.”
We are currently stuck in neutral with mandatory federal budget cuts looming if a solution is not found before the end of the year. It is the “fiscal cliff” pundits talk about.
Republicans, meanwhile, are playing a political game of “chicken” to see if they can wrest back the White House and Senate from Democrats on Nov. 6 before they act on the budget. That is dangerous politics.
What happens if things stay the same — White House and Senate in Democrat control and House controlled by Republicans? We cannot have another two years, let alone four years, of more stagnated decision making at the federal level.
We need to elect statesmen who see the interests of the country first and their party’s agenda second. That not only applies to the president, but to Congress as well. Sadly, there are not many real statesmen stepping up to the plate.
There is a strong urge to toss them all out, and start all over again. But if we tossed everyone out, what would we have instead? Likely different faces with the same old stalemated ideologies. This country is divided. Americans are evenly split, and no amount of personality changes will budge the political parties off dead center.
Although it takes two to dance, President Obama’s four years in office have been less than stellar by any measure. Thanks in part to an intransigent Republican-controlled House, an equally stubborn Democrat-controlled Senate, there is no place at the table for compromise.
So unemployment remains high; the massive bailouts, started by President George W. Bush, were continued by Obama with very mixed results; and the economy is still struggling with unemployment remaining at about 9 percent.
So are we better off than we were four years ago? In 2009, we were spiraling straight down dealing with a meltdown of the economy, the housing “bust” and the massive loss of jobs.
Four years later, we are on the gradual incline, so in that perspective, yes, we are better off than four years ago.
But tell workers who have lost their jobs; workers who have not seen a wage increase for five years; or workers who are underemployed, and the answer is, “No, we are not better off.”
Instead of focusing solely on the economy as his top priority, President Obama made the same mistake that President Bill Clinton made by biting off more than he could chew with national health care.
The health care issue is simply too massive an undertaking to get it done in four years. Will another four years of the Obama administration makes things better? Probably not.
We need something to change. The economy depends on it. Investors, sitting on the sidelines with all this uncertainty, are poised to act, depending on who is in control. Four more years of Obama, may keep these economic stimulators and job creators on the sidelines and prevent the long-needed economic revival from happening.
We think Gov. Romney may be the man to get these investors to invest and get America’s economy growing again.
After all, this election is all about the economy.