Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Way to Destroy America

This caught my eye this morning, "If I Wanted America To Fail." It reminded me of the statement Abraham Lincoln once made: "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."

The final victory is closer than it seems. Four more years of Barack Obama's policies will just about seal that deal.

We have been on the wrong track since the day Obama took office. We all hoped the changes he offered would be helpful to restoring America's economy, our standing in the world (though that has always seemed elusive to me), a reduction in world hostility, halting the rise of the oceans and converting all energy sources into green jobs. It was all such a lofty and inspiring vision. Even I voiced support for him in the beginning, asking those who opposed him to chill out and give him a chance. We wanted to believe, we needed to believe. Four years later it's all in ashes.

The Obama record is not one I find much comfort in reviewing. Here's a portion of the transcript of the 2nd presidential debate. The question is worth considering carefully:

QUESTION: Mr. President, I voted for you in 2008. What have you done or accomplished to earn my vote in 2012? I'm not that optimistic as I was in 2012. Most things I need for everyday living are very expensive.

OBAMA: Well, we've gone through a tough four years. There's no doubt about it. But four years ago, I told the American people and I told you I would cut taxes for middle class families. And I did. I told you I'd cut taxes for small businesses, and I have.

I said that I'd end the war in Iraq, and I did. I said we'd refocus attention on those who actually attacked us on 9/11, and we have gone after Al Qaeda's leadership like never before and Osama bin Laden is dead.

OBAMA: I said that we would put in place health care reform to make sure that insurance companies can't jerk you around and if you don't have health insurance, that you'd have a chance to get affordable insurance, and I have.

I committed that I would rein in the excesses of Wall Street, and we passed the toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930s. We've created five million jobs, and gone from 800 jobs a month being lost, and we are making progress. We saved an auto industry that was on the brink of collapse.

Now, does that mean you're not struggling? Absolutely not. A lot of us are. And that's why the plan that I've put forward for manufacturing and education, and reducing our deficit in a sensible way, using the savings from ending wars, to rebuild America and putting people back to work. Making sure that we are controlling our own energy, but not only the energy of today, but also the energy of the future. All of those things will make a difference, so the point is the commitments I've made, I've kept.

And those that I haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack of trying and we're going to get it done in a second term. But, you should pay attention to this campaign, because Governor Romney has made some commitments as well. And I suspect he'll keep those too. You know when members of the Republican Congress say, "We're going to sign a no tax pledge, so that we don't ask a dime for millionaires and billionaires to reduce our deficit so we can still invest in education, and helping kids go to college. He said, "Me too."

When they said, "We're going to cut Planned Parenthood funding." He said, "Me too." When he said, "We're going to repeal Obamacare. First thing I'm going to do," despite the fact that it's the same health care plan that he passed in Massachusetts and is working well. He said, "Me too." That is not the kind of leadership that you need, but you should expect that those are promises he's going to keep.


CROWLEY: Mr. President, let me let...


OBAMA: ...the choice in this election is going to be whose promises are going to be more likely to help you in your life? Make sure your kids can go to college. Make sure that you are getting a good paying job, making sure that Medicare and Social Security... (CROSSTALK)

CROWLEY: Mr. President. Thank you.


OBAMA: ...will be there for you.

CROWLEY: Thank you. Governor?

ROMNEY: I think you know better. I think you know that these last four years haven't been so good as the president just described and that you don't feel like your confident that the next four years are going to be much better either.

I can tell you that if you were to elect President Obama, you know what you're going to get. You're going to get a repeat of the last four years. We just can't afford four more years like the last four years.

He said that by now we'd have unemployment at 5.4 percent. The difference between where it is and 5.4 percent is 9 million Americans without work.

I wasn't the one that said 5.4 percent. This was the president's plan. Didn't get there.

He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they're on the road to bankruptcy. He would reform them. He'd get that done. He hasn't even made a proposal on either one.

He said in his first year he'd put out an immigration plan that would deal with our immigration challenges. Didn't even file it.

This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd do. He said that he'd cut in half the deficit. He hasn't done that either. In fact, he doubled it. He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It's gone up by $2,500 a year. And if Obamacare is passed, or implemented -- it's already been passed -- if it's implemented fully, it'll be another $2,500 on top.

ROMNEY: The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again. He keeps saying, "Look, I've created 5 million jobs." That's after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country. The unemployment, the number of people who are still looking for work, is still 23 million Americans.

There are more people in poverty, one out of six people in poverty.

How about food stamps? When he took office, 32 million people were on food stamps. Today, 47 million people are on food stamps. How about the growth of the economy? It's growing more slowly this year than last year, and more slowly last year than the year before.

The president wants to do well. I understand. But the policies he's put in place from Obamacare to Dodd-Frank to his tax policies to his regulatory policies, these policies combined have not let this economy take off and grow like it could have.

You might say, "Well, you got an example of one that worked better?" Yeah, in the Reagan recession where unemployment hit 10.8 percent, between that period -- the end of that recession and the equivalent of time to today, Ronald Reagan's recovery created twice as many jobs as this president's recovery. Five million jobs doesn't even keep up with our population growth. And the only reason the unemployment rate seems a little lower today is because of all the people that have dropped out of the workforce.

The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked. He's great as a -- as a -- as a speaker and describing his plans and his vision. That's wonderful, except we have a record to look at. And that record shows he just hasn't been able to cut the deficit, to put in place reforms for Medicare and Social Security to preserve them, to get us the rising incomes we need. Median income is down $4,300 a family and 23 million Americans out of work. That's what this election is about. It's about who can get the middle class in this country a bright and prosperous future and assure our kids the kind of hope and optimism they deserve.

* * *

The choice draws closer as the days dwindle down to November 6th. The self-inflicted wounds have put us as a nation on life support financially. Congress has been in gridlock after Obama's first two years. Thankfully, we have seen little new spending approved since 2010, but the automatic payments built into the funding of our social programs have continued to escalate. Just this week we learned $1.02 Trillion was spent on welfare payments in the last year! With no approved budget in four years, it is little wonder we are bleeding red ink from the balance sheet. Obama has not been able to attract ONE SINGLE VOTE from either house in Congress for a budget. The lack of leadership is stunning! Blaming Bush isn't a plan. 

There seems to be only one serious candidate in this race. Obama's agenda has come from a life of ideological beliefs, and he has funded his agenda with massive public borrowing while simultaneously stifling the American economic growth engine. An estimated $2.4 Trillion dollars is sitting out this Obama administration, hesitant to move ahead because of the uncertainty and doubt Obama has infused into the business community. The imposition of Obamacare, heralded as absolutely essential to getting healthcare costs under control, has had exactly the opposite effect on businesses. 

This ideologue we have sitting in the White House has got to be removed at the ballot box. In this election we have a clear cut choice between a proven failure and a proven winner. In Obama's own answer to the question, "What have you done?" falls short of being impressive. The timeline for ending the Iraq war was already in place under George W. Bush. The intelligence community was already in place that finally secured the take down of Osama bin Laden. 

And then this lame summary: "And those [campaign promises] that I haven't been able to keep, it's not for lack of trying and we're going to get it done in a second term." Oh really.

The American people are a forgiving and patient lot in my experience. But when you put two candidates on stage at the same time with clearly contrasting agendas and personas, it's not hard to distinguish which direction the country needs to take at this crossroad. I believe the worst mistake and miscalculation the Obama campaign has made to date was the inevitability of putting Obama side-by-side with Romney and letting the American people make the comparison. You'd have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to be able to make the correct choice.

I am continually inspired by the depth of faith I see in this great country. Here's but one example. I'm humbled by the hundreds of followers who have joined me on Twitter in recent weeks and months. It is indicative of the goodness of Americans nationwide, I believe. By the way, there are many, many good people among the Democrats. Many will join with the rest of us in electing Mitt Romney.

I believe pragmatic, common sense Americans will get this one right on November 6th. 

Once we have dispatched the pretender, then we can all line up behind a true leader in America again. The tsunami will start in Florida on election night, and it will sweep over America in a conclusive final judgment against the policies of the last four years under the current administration. 

The only question remaining in my mind is the margin of victory.

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