by Mitt Romney
July 14, 2011
Elections are about differences. Yes, I have some differences with the Concord Monitor’s recent editorial about my views. Newspapers play a vital role in the democracy and the Monitor, publishing daily since 1864, is among the venerable. Accordingly, I think it’s valuable to hash out our respective views.
I do indeed believe that President Obama has failed us. I am delighted that the auto industry is recovering, but that would have been less costly to taxpayers had Presidents Bush and Obama encouraged the companies to reorganize under the bankruptcy code, as do other companies in distress. If needed, government guarantees should have come after the restructuring, not before it. I am pleased that New Hampshire unemployment is faring better than the national average. But the President is the leader of the entire nation, not of just one industry or of one state.
The nation is suffering. Three years into his four year term, 20 million Americans are out of work, have given up, or are underemployed in part time jobs. Home values continue to go down. Foreclosures are at near-record record levels. Our national debt is skyrocketing–President Obama is on course to add as much debt by the end of his term as all the former presidents combined. Your editorial labels my conclusion that the President has “failed us” as an “absurd charge.” But given this record, I can reach no other conclusion.
Your editorial takes me to task for saying that he made the recession worse. He did. I have spoken with employers across the country and with few exceptions, they point to the President’s policies on taxation, cap and trade, card check, Dodd-Frank, Obamacare, regulatory expansion, and alarming federal deficits as having deepened and lengthened the recession. Economists tell us that we have been in the recovery period for two years, but as The Wall Street Journal concluded, President Obama’s recovery is not only anemic, it is one of the worst on record. The President made the recession worse and he made the recovery worse.
The President faces a new test. In 2006, then Senator Obama voted against raising the debt ceiling and decried the lack of leadership in Washington. Now the buck stops on his desk. It is entirely within his power to cut government spending. But rather than take such action, he has resorted to class warfare and fear tactics. With the recovery so tepid, with housing in decline, and with millions of Americans out of work, we should not now raise taxes nor chill hiring and investment by threatening to do so in the future.
New Hampshire is indeed doing better than the nation as a whole. That is good news for the citizens of the Granite State. It is also instructive for the nation. Could New Hampshire’s good fortune have something to do with its legacy of self reliance, the absence of a sales tax, the absence of an income tax, and its fiscally conservative pro-growth policies? Yes, yes, yes and yes. The tax and borrow paths taken by states like California and Illinois which suffer from high unemployment and fiscal jeopardy stand in stark contrast to the path taken by New Hampshire. The President would be better served to look to New Hampshire.