By Mitt Romney
Cleveland Plain Dealer
May 4, 2012
Dear Mr. President,
Welcome to Ohio. I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?
As we enter the fourth year of your term, unemployment is over 8 percent and has been for your entire term. Nearly 23 million men and women are unemployed, underemployed or are no longer even looking for work. In the face of such challenges, many Americans have simply given up hope.
I recognize, of course, as do all Americans, that you inherited an economic crisis. But you’ve now had three years to turn things around. The record of those three years is clear. Your policies have failed, not only in Ohio, but across the nation.
The results are a continuing tragedy for millions upon millions of people. Everywhere I go, I meet Americans who are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less. This is not the way it is supposed to be in America. This is not the way it needs to be.
Mr. President, forgive me for being blunt, but when it comes to economic affairs, you’re out of your depth. Unlike you, I am not a career politician. Unlike you, I’ve spent more than two decades working in the private sector, starting new businesses and turning around failing ones. Undoing the damage you’ve done will be a daunting challenge. But I’ve learned a thing or two about how government policies can kill private investment and stifle job creation and I have a plan to get government out of the way.
Mr. President, while campaigning for the presidency nearly four years ago, you declared that you were “absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
Mr. President, the American people are tired of the grandiose promises. And they are even more tired of the paltry results.
Mr. President, your promises now ring hollow. If you have brought new ideas to Ohio for creating jobs, why have you waited three years to unveil them? Have you suddenly had a revelation, or is it because 2012 is an election year? Whatever the case, what you are offering Ohio now is too little, too late.
What Ohio needs — what the country needs — is not four more years of economic mismanagement and failed leadership. It needs a fundamental change in direction that, by returning the country to the principles of limited government and free enterprise, would unleash the potential of the American people.
I have a path forward to accomplish that. I have spent much of my life in business, turning around troubled enterprises. I can do the same for the most troubled of all enterprises: our federal government.
Our taxes are too high, and our government is too big. I will cut individual tax rates by 20 percent across the board to jump-start job creation, grow the economy and help Americans keep more of their hard-earned dollars. I will reform a corporate tax system that drives American jobs overseas. I will slash the needless regulations that crimp our energy supply and inhibit so many different kinds of businesses. In the year I was born, unemployment was 3.9 percent. When I turned 21, it was 3.6 percent. We can do so much better than we have been doing.
But we need proper leadership.
So once again, Mr. President, welcome to Ohio, and welcome to the campaign. We need a great debate about how best to get our country working again. We can’t afford four more years of failure. I believe in unleashing America’s potential. That is what my own campaign for the presidency is all about.