Are you better off than you were four years ago? Obama thinks you are. According to his web site, job growth turned on a dime when he took office. Whereas the US economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month, 5.1 million “new private-sector jobs” have been created since. One could presumably add all the public-sector jobs created with stimulus plans. Questions about job hours and duration, and how many existing jobs have been lost are not entertained.
Romney is faulted for not supporting ARRA stimulus, TARP, and the auto industry bailouts. Romney, a capitalist, would have let market forces operate. Romney worked at Bain Capital to make businesses more efficient. In a free market, faltering strategies give way to efficiencies that avail better goods and services to the public at lower prices. Government subsidy takes money out of the market, whether by taxation or debt that must be returned, and uses it to sustain the life of businesses that, for whatever reason, are falling short of market expectations.
The Obama campaign claims Romney would enact tax reforms that would force middle class taxpayers to pay $2000 more a year while millionaires save $250,000. Romney’s plan is to cut income taxes 20 percent for everybody, but it would remain revenue-neutral by reducing allowable deductions and exemptions. While the $16 trillion debt has become a household concept, Obama’s website claims the incumbent is in the middle of an eight-year plan to reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion.
As for unfunded liabilities, it is widely believed that the Medicare trust fund will be depleted in eleven or twelve years. Obama boasts his plan will add eight years to the life of the program, whereas Romney proposes structural changes to extend healthcare coverage indefinitely. Romney promises to fulfill obligations to seniors who have paid into the system while offering government-subsidized insurance premiums for persons aged 54 and under.
Romney is faulted for “going back to the days when insurance companies made their own rules.” However, Adam Smith’s invisible hand explains the concept of people buying that which they need and prices adjusting to meet demand. Government regulation distorts markets, leading to greater inefficiencies and higher prices somewhere. Obama would get rid of insurance abuses, the worst of which he considers to be capping and dropping coverage. Republicans would prefer to check abuses like malpractice torts that require career-changing levels of insurance, exaggerated claims, and kickbacks.
On education, Romney is faulted for “planning to expand private-school vouchers, which have been tried and studied for decades but fail to raise student achievement.” Under the Obama administration, ads for getting government loans to return to college have been almost as prevalent as enticements for food stamps. Critics consider these tactics thinly-veiled pushes to grow government at the expense of individual independence. Obama claims “education is an imperative” that must be availed to all Americans. Romney, on the other hand is faulted for saying, “Shop around, get a good price . . . and don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.”
The page on women’s issues speaks for itself. It should be belittling to women to suppose their greatest – or only – concern is whether or not they can have somebody else pay for their abortions. Government should be protecting the right to exercise conscience, and not forcing those who are morally or spiritually opposed to killing unborn children to pay for it, whether through direct taxes or insurance premiums. Obama claims using the force of government to fund abortions keeps politics out of the relationship a woman has with her doctor. Romney is faulted for opposing taxpayer contributions to Planned Parenthood, wishing to overturn Roe vs. Wade, and protecting individuals from funding practices they deem morally reprehensible.
Repealing Obamacare, which Romney said he would see to the first day of office, was one piece of evidence used to show Romney did not support equal rights. Another is the Lilly Ledbetter law. That claim referred to an interview with Diane Sawyer in which Romney said he supported equal pay for equal work, but he wasn’t as president going to go back and dissect every law to see if he would have voted for it. Romney’s support for a Constitutional amendment to define marriage traditionally is touted by the Obama campaign as “enshrining discrimination.” Romney has said he wants to treat all people with respect and dignity, but does not want to create special classes with special privileges. His opinion that America had bigger fish to fry in war time than repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is viewed as “anti-gay.”
As for foreign policy, the president’s web site boasts “strengthening alliances around the world with friends like Israel,” whereas Romney is considered indiscreet for using the word “disconcerting” to describe preparations for the London Olympics. As the man behind the elimination of Osama bin Laden, Obama would withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which remains a combat zone with daily casualties.