The case for Romney is the case against Obama. Americans four years ago turned to Obama as a “no drama” leader who would guide the country out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and burnish the country’s reputation abroad after a costly, unpopular war in Iraq and a flagging effort in Afghanistan.
Obama’s first significant act as president — beyond that futile gesture with Guantanamo Bay — was to push Congress to pass the $800 billion “stimulus bill.” Without it, the new president said, unemployment would top 10 percent or more. But with the plan, the administration predicted unemployment should be around 5.6 percent by now.
Current unemployment is 7.8 percent and the labor-participation rate — the number of adults who are working or actively seeking a job — is the lowest in more than 30 years.
Obama’s other signal achievement, health care reform, was supposed to control rising health care costs. The law hasn’t taken full effect, but the average health insurance premium has risen $2,370 since Obama took office — faster than when George W.Bush was president.
Bin Laden is indeed dead. But so are Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods and Sean Smith, casualties of an administration that sought to “lead from behind” in Libya, and that cravenly blamed their deaths on a YouTube video hardly anyone had seen or heard of before Sept. 11 of this year.
As for General Motors, profits are up globally — especially in China. That’s good.
But overall U.S. market share has fallen to 17.6 percent since Obama made the federal government GM’s majority shareholder. If the feds sold their stake in GM today, taxpayers would lose $13 billion.
Would Romney be better? It’s fair to say the former Massachusetts governor’s reputation for saying just about anything to get elected does give one pause. But Obama’s failures are manifest. And all this president has promised for his second term is more of the same. No, thanks.
Ben Boychuk is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.