President Obama has said we "can't afford to go back to the failed policies of the past," implying they didn't work. Those past numbers look a lot better than the ones he's posting. We're waist-deep in a financial "Big Muddy," to paraphrase Pete Seeger, "and the big fool says to push on."
If Obamacare is not repealed and replaced by a Republican Congress and a President Romney, its sharp tax and spending increases will lead, among other things, to employers hiring even fewer people and laying off the workers they have. There is no healthy economic future if we continue along this line.
But more than a change of administrations is needed. We also must change the way many of us think about the proper role of government, which functions best when it's limited. When people are not limited by government, they do better for themselves and the nation. Why then do so many turn to government when it consistently fails to perform better than the private sector in most categories?
Mitt Romney should be hammering on this theme and not let the Obama campaign pound him as an out of touch, jet-skiing, rich guy. This election is, or ought to be, about whether the country can stand another four years of incompetent, overspending, overtaxing government, or whether it should return to the safe harbor of living within our means and doing more for ourselves.
Spinning numbers won't cure an ailing economy anymore than wishful thinking will improve the condition of a dying man. This administration has put America on a path to socialism. It's for Romney to make the case that the administration's "medicine" is actually killing us.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.