WASHINGTON, November 5, 2012 — Love him or loathe him, there are plenty of reasons to re-elect Barack Obama, but if you only need one, that reason is Governor Mitt Romney. Whether it’s taxes or rebuilding America, the contrast is real and profound between the two men.
You may think the President didn’t keep all his pledges for Change when he took office, and he didn’t, but he didn’t change his positions on those core issues. Sometimes circumstances changed, sometimes he found he couldn’t because of our laws and, more often than not, he found a Republican Congress determined to thwart his agenda. But his positions and values were unwavering.
Not so with Governor Romney. What he said on Monday, he would deny on Tuesday like his own healthcare plan that Obama used as his model for what the opposition deemed Obamacare. But the biggest fear many voters have is that Mitt Romney is a Back to the Future candidate. He talks about change, Big Change, as he calls it. It’s change all right. A U-turn is more like it, Right back to the Bush years and before.
So let’s look ahead to the next four years and five areas to see what we can expect from each man. It should then become clear why Romney would be a bad choice for America while Obama would keep the country on even keel, moving forward.
1. The poor and middle class: When Romney was secretly videotaped dismissing 47% of Americans as whiners and self-proclaimed victims and telling his well-heeled fundraisers that “my job is not to worry about those people,” he revealed not only his attitude about those without wealth but his true plans for America’s future despite his promises.
On the other hand, Obama in his Five Point Plan said he wants to create 1 million more manufacturing jobs by 2016 and “train 2 million workers for good jobs that actually exist through partnerships between businesses and community colleges.” And that is just the beginning of his plan to continue invigorating the economy.
2. Supreme Court: President Obama appointed two women justices, both left of center, during his term. We know that one and maybe two more justices plan to retire within the next four years. So we know what kind of justices Obama would select. And we also know that Romney has said on his website he would appoint someone like Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, strict constructionists, who do not take into account that times change.
Yet the Constitution was constructed to grow with the times, something our founding fathers obviously knew when they wrote the document, giving it the latitude to be of, by and for the people. The next Supreme Court will be in the position to determine the course of America for the next quarter century from abortion rights and immigration reform to campaign finances and civil liberties.
3. Immigration Reform: On immigration, Romney came across during the primaries as an anti-immigration zealot. Sure, Romney needed to woo the extreme right of his party, but his angry tone when talking about “illegal aliens,” his passionate support for Arizona’s draconian anti-immigration law, and his vow to veto the Dream Act incensed most Hispanics.
Admittedly, Obama didn’t deliver on his immigration reform last term and says he is determined to this time. He did try to get the DREAM Act through Congress and when that failed, he ordered an executive policy change, allowing undocumented young people a chance to stay here and go to school or get a job.
4. Taxes: Mitt Romney wants to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest, the very measure that contributed to the economic mess of the Bush years. He also wants to end the estate tax, drop the corporate tax rate to 25%, cut the overall tax rate by 20%, and not subject U.S. companies to any taxes on money earned abroad. All of which benefits the richest people in this country at the expense of the middle class.
Obama’s stimulus plan has already cut taxes for the middle class, and his tax plan would extend the Bush tax cuts only for those making less than $250,000 a year and eliminate the special loopholes and tax breaks that benefit big business and the big rich.
The non-partisan Tax Policy Center looked at both plans and found that Romney’s would increase the deficit.
5. Middle East: Romney has surrounded himself with Bush leftovers from the old Iraq days, Dan Senor, Michael Hayden, Michael Chertoff, and Cofer Black to name only some that of the special advisors that the Governor lists on his website. All are hawkish, and Dan Senor has been the lead attack dog on Obama and Israel, Libya and Iran. This is a group that leans towards a super aggressive policy towards the Middle East, ready to send in more troops to set matters right.
Obama by contrast has been measured and assertive, decimating al-Qaeda, not hesitating to use drones rather than troops, ordering the killing of bin Laden, leveraging crippling sanctions on Iran, ending the war in Iraq, and winding the war in Afghanistan down, and using diplomacy as the first line of defense.
The real worry about a Romney presidency is that he and his running mate Congressman Paul Ryan actually want to turn the hands of the clock back even further than the Bush administration, even back to the 1950s. That is on everything except the taxes the wealthy had to pay during the President Eisenhower years (92%).
So if you are looking for just one reason to vote for President Obama, look no further than Mitt Romney himself. He embodies the past not the future.
To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.
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