Forward is not a destination. If you'd asked Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot or their supporters if they were taking their nations forward, they'd have undoubtedly said "yes." Mussolini? Forward. Napoleon? Forward. Genghis Khan? Forward. Of course, Churchill, Thatcher, and Reagan would have said "forward" as well. So, that's why it's important to ask what difference it would make if we go forward for four years under Mitt Romney as opposed to going forward for another four years under Barack Obama.
1) Mitt Romney would try to reduce tax rates for the wealthy and corporations to spur economic growth. On the other hand, Barack Obama is likely to try to raise taxes not just on the rich and corporations, but on the middle class. He really wouldn't have much choice. Despite the class warfare rhetoric you're hearing, there is far more money that can be confiscated from the vast middle class than there is to be plundered from the relatively thin ranks of the wealthy. If you believe tax increases are the answer, then you go after the middle class for the same reason Willie Sutton said he robbed banks: "because that's where the money is."
2) Barack Obama has run trillion dollar plus deficits every year he's been in office and given that everything he wants to do comes with a large price tag attached, there's no reason to think the next four years would be any different than the last four years. At a minimum, that would mean further downgrades of our nation's credit rating, but it's possible it could precipitate a full-on Greek style financial crisis if investors conclude their money isn't safe here. On the other hand, Mitt Romney would be under tremendous pressure from his right to reduce the deficit and a further credit downgrade on his watch would be a devastating political blow that he'd be highly motivated to avoid. Romney wouldn't have it easy since Obama would be leaving him a full-on budgetary disaster to deal with, but he'd have little choice other than to make cuts if he wants to be reelected in 2016.
3) Barack Obama has made encouraging dependence part of his electoral strategy. The more Americans that are dependent on the government for unemployment insurance, food stamps, and welfare, the more votes he believes the Democrats will get. In order to swell the welfare rolls, he’s no longer demanding that welfare recipients work for their handout. Mitt Romney opposes that change and would put the work requirements back into welfare.
4) If Barack Obama is reelected, we should expect no serious attempts at entitlement reform in the next four years. That's very problematic because nobody wants to cut a deal that impacts current retirees which means any change will impact people 55 and younger. So every year we wait, we end up with more Americans in an unsustainable system. The longer we go without making a change, the more likely it becomes that we'll be forced, under financial duress of the sort Greece is facing, to dramatically cut benefits for people who already rely on the program. Of course, there are no guarantees Mitt Romney could reach a deal with Democrats in Congress, but he will at least try to make it happen. Barack Obama won’t.
5) The Supreme Court currently has four doctrinaire liberal justices (Kagan, Sotomayor, Ginsburg, and Breyer), three conservative originalist justices (Alito, Thomas, Scalia) and two right leaning moderates (Roberts, Kennedy). Four of the justices, Ginsburg (79), Scalia (76), Kennedy (75), and Breyer (73) are over 70. Given the ideological split of the SCOTUS and the ages of the judges, the next President may have an opportunity to create a historic shift on the Court. Replacing a single justice with an ideological opposite could be a decisive factor on cases from Roe v. Wade to Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
6) We currently have a de facto amnesty for illegal aliens who haven't committed a felony in the United States. All they have to do is claim that they went to school here and they're automatically released without verification. If that continues for another four years, millions more illegals will pour into the United States and Obama will encourage them to settle in for the long haul. On the other hand, Mitt Romney would be likely to continue to improve border security and deport illegal aliens who are captured. In fact, his supporters during the primary, like Ann Coulter, were touting him as the toughest GOP candidate on illegal immigration.
7) Obama has taken over the student loan program, frittered away billions in bad loans to companies like Solyndra, and proudly proclaims his partial takeover of GM and Chevrolet to be a success despite the fact the taxpayers lost 25 billion on the deal. If Barack Obama is reelected, expect more government takeovers and bailouts. In fact, Dodd-Frank, which Obama supports and Romney opposes, has bank bailouts built into the law. If Romney can, he will repeal Dodd-Frank, he won't be interested in any more government takeovers of industry, and the Tea Partiers in his base would so adamantly oppose any more bailouts that going down that path would probably make him unelectable.
8) The housing market was terrible when Barack Obama came into office and not only has he done little to improve the situation for people who currently own homes, the root causes of the crash are still in place. The government is still demanding that loans be given to people who can't afford them. Fannie and Freddie are still handling 90% of all new mortgages. Mitt Romney will make it easier for people with good credit to get homes, will stop applying pressure to give loans to poor risks, and will force Freddie and Fannie to slowly and responsibly reduce the number of home mortgages they're covering so that if, God forbid, there's another crash one day, taxpayers don't get stuck with the bill.
9) If Barack Obama is reelected, Obamacare will go into effect in 2014 and many companies will stop offering insurance, it will be harder to find a doctor, the quality of medical care will drop, costs will explode, and death panels, along with the IRS, will become permanently involved in your health care. If Mitt Romney is elected, this won't happen. Romney would also try to push through a replacement plan for Obamacare, but chances are Democrats would block it.
10) At some point, you have to expect that the natural vitality of the economy will reassert itself no matter who's in the White House. However, it is also entirely possible that the hostile, unpredictable business environment created by the Obama Administration could keep the economy just as stagnant for the next four years as it has been for the last four. Romney's pro-business administration along with his attempts to cut taxes and regulations will encourage growth and put Americans back to work. What would we rather have? Four years of hate, demonization, and class warfare aimed at small business owners because they'll never be able to do their "fair share" in Barack Obama's eyes or would we rather have a growing, thriving economy again?
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