Open forum: Rx for America

Posted: October 29, 2012

There is an old axiom that says “Of all the things a hospital ought to be doing, it ought not to be spreading disease.” Our economy is sick, the recovery anemic, and the treatment from the Obama Administration is not hygienic.

The symptoms are all around us. A record 43 months of unemployment above 8 percent. Economic growth has slowed each of the last three years. We have had four straight years of deficits above $1 trillion. Our national debt now tops $16 trillion. Chronic problems have been put off or ignored.

We are told that this is the “new normal.” We are told that the “recovery” will be long and slow. When people out of work get so discouraged they stop looking for work, thus lowering the overall unemployment rate, it is celebrated as good news. We are told that things could be much worse and that this is the best we can do.

We can do better. It starts with Growth and Leadership. Mitt Romney and his team, including George Allen and Frank Wolf, will provide both.

Seldom does a campaign offer differences as stark as this one. President Obama offers more of the same — a government taking a larger slice of a shrinking pie. Mr. Romney offers a model of economic growth, led by a vibrant private sector. The Romney plan promises action on several fronts.

It starts with tax reform, the key to growth. Lowering rates for everyone while limiting deductions will make our system flatter, fairer, and give it the certainty we need. It will release the entrepreneurial spirit, creating private sector jobs and enhancing our tax base.

ObamaCare passed muster with the Supreme Court because the administration correctly labeled it as a tax increase — the largest in history. It’s a job killer. Mr. Romney would repeal ObamaCare and replace it with market-based reforms, bending the cost curb downward. It’s what should have been done in the first place.

The development of our own energy resources is imperative. This means a real “all of the above” strategy. It means exploring off our coast. It means building the Keystone pipeline. It means developing our natural gas. It means we stop wasting money we don’t have on ventures that have no chance of success (Solyndra, the Chevy Volt).

Perhaps the president’s greatest failure has been one of leadership. He began his administration the same way he is ending it — blaming everyone but himself for our problems. He has failed to use his office, and the considerable political capital he had when he started, to address some of our chronic challenges like tax and entitlement reform.

Take, for example, the “S” word — sequestration. Last year, the president and Congress came close to a “grand bargain” that would have combined spending cuts with additional revenue. The administration scuttled the deal by insisting on even more revenue. It was a massive failure of presidential leadership.

And then it got worse. It was this administration that proposed the sequestration plan as part of a deal to raise the debt limit. And because he insisted that the deal take us past the presidential election, we have wasted another 18 months and now have a looming “fiscal cliff” to face. We cannot afford four more years like the last four.

We need a president willing to lead and not wait for the next election. Mitt Romney offers that leadership. Economic growth and job creation will be his first priority because he knows everything else flows from that. We need to stop “spreading disease.” The doctor is in. Let’s elect Mitt Romney, George Allen and Frank Wolf.

Vincent Di Benedetto is a resident of Winchester.