When any regular American fills out a job application, they are required to list all their previous employment records and often are asked to list their qualifications for the job they seek. It is the same scenario for politicians seeking office and fortunately for the voters, there are public records available for assessing whether or not the candidate is qualified to fill an office regardless if it is a city council position or president of the United States. Willard Romney touts his business acumen as the reason he is best qualified to lead the country, and based on his performance as governor of Massachusetts, it makes sense he is doing everything in his power to misdirect the public’s attention on just how ineffective he was as a governor.
Last week, noted economist Paul Krugman eloquently summed up Romney’s pitch to voters that he should be elected president “because he made a lot of money.” It is true Willard made a fortune during his time at Bain Capital, but leveraging struggling companies with debt, shipping jobs overseas, and reaping huge profits at the expense of American’s jobs is not a valid qualification to be president. Indeed, if making outrageous amounts of money qualifies any American to be president, then thug rappers, star athletes, and movie producers are every bit as qualified to lead this country as Romney. However, if one peruses Romney’s record as governor, it becomes painfully obvious why he is promoting his wealth acquisition abilities instead of his performance as governor of Massachusetts.
Romney made the same promises to Massachusetts’ voters that he makes to Americans as he campaigns around the country, and based on his proposals, the results of a Romney presidency would mirror his leadership skills as governor. During his one-term as governor, Massachusetts was 47th out of 50 in job creation, and economic growth stopped as the state lost manufacturing jobs with new companies avoiding the state like plague. Wages under Willard dropped 5%, and the loss of consumer spending power had a profound effect on revenue and down-stream jobs. When he realized the state needed revenue to operate, he instituted “fee” increases for car registration, marriages, burials and services that impacted average middle-class citizens, but he cut taxes for the 278 wealthiest families in Massachusetts. He also claimed to be able to get the state’s debt under control, but instead of balancing the budget and reining in debt, he accumulated the greatest debt of any state in America by using debt to pay for operation costs.
If Willard’s record as an executive running a state government is any indication of what he will do for America, this country will revisit the George W. Bush administration because Bush’s policies were the model for Romney as governor. Thus far, in what promises to be a lie-filled campaign from the Romney camp, his favorite accusation is that there have been no jobs created during the Obama administration, except for the public sector. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, since February 2010, there has been a steady increase in private sector jobs up to the present and public sector (government) jobs have declined. Romney also says President Obama inherited a “horrible economy” from Willard’s hero, George W. Bush, and that Obama has actually made it worse, but the fact is that of all Western countries, only America has seen economic growth (2%) because the President did not fall into the austerity trap Romney is wont to promote.
Willard has also accused President Obama of being a “reckless steward” of the country’s economy, and that “a prairie fire of debt is sweeping across our nation, and every day we fail to act that fire gets closer to the homes and children we love,” but under President Obama, spending is lower than any administration since Reagan was president according to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Spending under President Obama is on track to rise just 0.4% and Republicans fail to ever mention that the budget in the President’s first year was from Bush because America runs on a fiscal year.
Romney and his supporters like Bobby Jindal (R-LA) claim the President is lacking leadership skills and Jindal said two weeks ago that President Obama never ran a company, a state, or a lemonade stand and that he is not qualified to run the country. It is true the President was never a governor, CEO, or lemonade entrepreneur, but he has lead America out of the Great Recession that Bush-Republicans left him and in the process created millions of jobs, saved the auto industry, reduced spending, cut taxes, and presided over steady economic growth. In fact, the market is up to over 12,000, and the 2012 CFO outlook is considerably optimistic regarding “corporate performance and the U.S. economy with 93% of CFOs now forecasting growth in 2012,” and they anticipate more hiring and 57% of companies plan on raising prices on their products and services. Despite what Romney or Republicans claim, the economy is in considerably better shape than when the President took office and it is precisely because he did not follow Bush/Romney policies.
Romney may be proficient at creating wealth for himself and his rich cohorts, but as an executive running a state, he created debt, no jobs, increased taxes on the middle and lower classes, and gave tax cuts to the wealthy. It is precisely what he promises to repeat if he is elected president and he has lied, misinformed, and deflected attention away from his poor performance as an executive. Conversely, President Obama has grown the economy, created millions of jobs, reduced taxes for the middle class, and put America on the road to recovery. Willard expects Americans to elect him because he created wealth for himself, but if making money is his qualification to be president, America would be better off electing Doctor Dre, Peyton Manning, or Steven Spielberg because they all make a lot of money and they do it without lying, sending Americans’ jobs overseas, raising taxes on the poor, and giving outrageous tax cuts to the rich.