By Alex Kryvoruka, FCRH ‘16
America has undergone many economic and political downturns since Obama took office a short four years ago. Under Obama, our economy is in one of the worst recessions since the great depression and the U.S. National Debt recently crossed the $16 trillion mark and there is no plan in sight to end this runaway spending. As a college student, many of these economic issues influenced which box I checked when I mailed in my absentee ballot on Friday.
Thankfully, there is still time to fix the nation’s debt problem. As of now, our national debt comprises 103% of our nation’s tax base (our GDP/income). This may sound outrageous, but compared to Japan, whose debt is at 219% of their tax base, it is not irreparable. But our current path towards even greater spending is not wise nor is increasing taxes sensible in depressed economic times. But time is running out and, in the absence of leadership, there is no political will to halt our spending. We cannot, nor can President Obama expect that the Federal Reserve will continue to bail us out. Do Americans understand the importance of this issue to our nation’s future? Under Bush, the debt doubled to $10 Trillion and Obama has done nothing short of expediting the process by adding another $6 trillion chunk in only four years! Do Americans realize that we need some backbone in a President to lead positive, impactful fiscal changes? Will Obama change this irresponsibility in his next four years or do we start over with Romney?
I replied by checking the little box that said Mitt Romney.
Among the sea of worried college students, a lot of these important issues can hit us hard. High unemployment, the cost of education rising, and the possibility of loans getting harder and more expensive to acquire makes me queasy. The possibility of not getting a job and facing larger loan payments is something a college student could encounter. These are some of the reasons why I voted for change.
The main issue is that Obama doesn’t know how to lead Congress. He had four years to reach a compromise on the deficit and taxes but he had resolved nothing. America needs a strong leader more than ever; and at this point, I think a businessman will do the trick. Romney has a great track record for turning businesses around and achieving results. He supports the role of small businesses, favors large tax cuts, promotes unrestricted business activity, and low interest rates. With the current House membership likely to remain Republican, give Romney a chance to reach a negotiated compromise with the House and the Senate to begin to solve our fiscal woes. Four more years of a stagnate economy and an increasing debt is not the remedy for an economy continuing to tread water. His successful career as a businessman also parallels his success as a governor. The risk, though, is whether or not he can lead our country out of its current position.
We should take the chance. Like all fields of business and politics, when selecting a new leader you always risk the chance of selecting someone who isn’t fit for the job. However, we should give Romney the chance. Obama has failed countless times as a leader in resuscitating our economy and solving our debt crisis. He promised to address these two problems when he arrived in office and has failed to address either. Though he has finally stopped blaming others for our sputtering economy, is there any realistic prospect that Obama will meet with any greater success in a second term? Give Romney a chance to break the legislative logjam and exercise the kind of economic leadership not seen since FDR. Sure, Romney will face obstacles, but we are allowed to replace failed leaders. We need to take the chance in order to get out of the large hole he created.
At the time Obama took office, he promised to enact a stimulus package to keep unemployment below 8%, yet unemployment has remained above 8% for nearly 45 months, or his entire first term. At a press conference he replied when asked about his failed promise by joking, “shovel ready wasn’t as shovel ready as we had expected,” but the joke is on us. His job council hasn’t met in eight months while he’s played over a 100 rounds of golf. On a one-on-one exclusive on the Today Show, Obama stated, “If the economy isn’t turned around during my first term – I will be held accountable.” Well Mr. President, your time is up and you should be held to your word.
Obama’s record exemplifies failed leadership and broken promises and his campaign has been an attempt to escape that record. In one of Romney’s speeches he stated, “Thomas Paine once stated lead, follow, or get out of the way. Well, Mr. President, you were elected to lead, you chose to follow, and now it’s time for you to get out of the way.” Obama stated three years ago that if he didn’t turn the economy around and solve the deficit crisis, then he would be facing a one-term proposition. I think it’s time to collect now. Last week, I placed my faith in Mitt Romney, a man with a track record of leading successfully in the corporate and political arena. Romney has proven himself to be a successful businessman and leader; and our country needs both. And in saying so I believe I am putting my faith someone who will truly turn things around. I think Romney will roll up his sleeves and become the leader we need during these times of economic and political stress. Four more years of Obama will dig us even deeper into a disastrous financial hole.
Give Romney a chance – there’s no reason to anticipate that Obama will do any better come a second term. It’s not hard for Romney to do a better job in Washington.