Republicans remember the battle cry of the Bill Clinton campaign all so well.
“It’s the economy, stupid.”
That prophetic statement trumpeted why Bush I -- George Herbert -- ended up a one-term president in 1992 despite having an 89 percent approval rating midway during his term.
Now, 20 years later, we see the same thing happening again. This time, however, it is the Democrats on the receiving end. Of the many issues that separate incumbent President Barack Obama from Republican challenger Mitt Romney, none stick out more than the economy.
Obama swept into office in 2008 promising hope and change. But change has come too slowly, and for too many people, hope surrendered to despair long ago.
That is why Lima News is calling for a change of leadership and is endorsing Republican Mitt Romney for president.
It goes back to the post-9/11 economy that Obama inherited, a period of time we acknowledge that has resulted in the worst economy since the Great Depression. While the Obama administration made some improvements, it never has been able to get the recovery shifted out of first gear -- not even during the president’s initial two years when Democrats held strong majorities in both the House and Senate.
We have little confidence that Obama would be anymore successful given another four-year term. Our memory of a euphoric Obama who energized this country four years ago is now replaced by the picture of a slumping president, tired and defensive, during his first debate with Romney.
Today, family incomes are down. The middle class is shrinking and poverty is growing. College students are graduating deep in debt with questionable job opportunities,
At the same time, the government continues to take on more debt. It just wracked up its fourth straight 13-figure shortfall. During Obama’s four years the debt has grown to more than $5 trillion. He now believes the only way to trim the deficit is by raising taxes on the wealthy and eliminating tax breaks.
We feel Romney’s solid resume in the private sector will help here. He understands that reviving the economy and repairing the government’s balance sheet are things that need to happen now, not four years in the future. His five-point plan calls for raising revenue through business expansions -- definitely not new taxes -- and reducing spending.
Romney has the added benefit of likely dealing with a friendlier Congress. At least one chamber, if not both, are expected to favor Republicans. It is imperative the president and Congress work together. Two years ago, Congress recommended a bipartisan 10-year, $4 trillion deficit-reduction plan, only to be snubbed by Obama, who had his own, less ambitious plan.
We do have our concerns with Romney. His failure to back the automotive bailout scares us. Ohio stood to lose around 200,000 auto-related jobs had Obama not taken such courageous action. The president realized the bailout was about rescuing families.
There also is Romney’s infamous remark about 47 percent of Americans being “dependent upon government.” The truth is that of the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax, two-thirds pay federal payroll tax. Most of them aren’t making a lot of money; a couple with two children has to earn less than $26,400 to pay no income tax. Altogether, only a tenth of Americans pay no federal tax, and most who pay neither income nor payroll tax are retirees.
This has been a brutal election filled with lies and misinformation. In that regard, let us just say that Mitt Romney isn’t out to destroy the middle class and Barack Obama’s mission isn’t to make us a socialist nation or to take our guns away.
These are two candidates whose desire is to serve their country.
We’ll probably hear the winner declare the American people have delivered to their political party some sort of a mandate. Be careful here. The only mandate we see happening is that the winner has four years to get the economy straightened out. That will mean working with the people across the aisle. If that doesn’t happen, there’s another election in 2016.