By Daniel Tarvin
Four years ago, Barack Obama swept to the presidency on a wave of enthusiasm and hope. President Obama promised to revitalize the economy and get the country moving towards a brighter future. Unfortunately, America – especially on an economic basis – has been stuck in neutral during the last few years. Unemployment has been abnormally high. Wages have been stagnant (if not declining altogether), and the middle class has been “buried” (in the words of President Obama’s own vice president, Joe Biden).
Perhaps most damning is the absolute explosion of the federal budget deficit and national debt that has occurred during the last few years. Under President Obama, the United States has run deficits in the trillions each and every year. As a result, over $6 trillion has been added to our national debt in less than four years, and there is little sign that this economic calamity will reverse itself in a second term. The end result will be a tremendous financial burden that will be passed on to future generations, including our own.
Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate, and he would not be a perfect president. But his experience as a leader and as an executive dwarfs that of President Obama. Mr. Romney has spent much of his career in business, where he was successful in turning around companies such as Staples and Sports Authority. Romney’s business resume and knowledge of how the economy works would be vital, considering the economic quandary that the next president will inherit upon taking office in January 2013. Unlike President Obama in 2008, Gov. Romney would head into the presidency with executive experience in government. In a largely successful four-year stint as governor of Massachusetts, Gov. Romney reached across party lines in a very blue state to solve many problems, including a large budget deficit that he inherited, but helped turn into a surplus by the time he left office.
Perhaps Gov. Romney’s greatest work was as the head of the organizing committee for 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. When he was appointed the President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee in 1999, the Games were headed towards disaster. A massive scandal in the late 1990s and budget mismanagement had left the Salt Lake Games nearly bankrupt and in ruins. Few had hope that the Games would be successful. However, Gov. Romney took charge and turned around an organization that was nearly half a billion dollars in the red. The Games ended up becoming an enormous success even after the September 11 attacks several months earlier had caused security costs for the Games to soar, and despite the huge early deficit, the Games ended up bringing in a profit of $100 million.
Throughout all of his professional life, Mitt Romney has had a knack for taking over struggling enterprises – whether businesses, the Olympics, or states – and turning them around and leaving them successful. After four years in the woods, America desperately needs that kind of leadership to revitalize the country, especially economically.
Barack Obama’s candidacy four years ago inspired many people, including young voters. But this time around, President Obama has a record to run on, and even the president himself stated at the beginning of his presidency that this record would be carefully scrutinized by voters.
“One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I’ve got four years. If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition,” President Obama said.
The results of the last four years have made it clear that is it is time to hold President Obama to his own standard.