Usually when candidates run for political office, any office, they run because they believe they can make a positive change. Romney stated he wants to make "Big Change!" However, over the past seven years that he has run for office, he has indicated that he actually doesn't want to create change at all. I would argue that the major premise of his campaign is to relinquish responsibility and give an overwhelming majority of his responsibility to the states. To understand my position, all one has to do is review his stated positions.
For the first time in my life, I see a presidential candidate who wants to be a president who does nothing. Romney is correct, this is very "Big Change," but it is also devoid of all logic and reason, and his positions cannot be deemed electable by any measure.
I believe there are many areas where there has been an overreach of governmental power and authority. From large issues such as drone attacks in Pakistan that kill innocent people unapproved by Congress to smaller issues such as limiting the size of sugary drinks being sold here in New York City. There are certainly areas where I feel the government has become too large. However, in the hopes that we don't mistake elimination of government power for moderation of government power, a vote for Mitt Romney would accomplish just that. Romney's extreme positions have been consistent over the past seven years as he panders to the zealous Republican base. His positions are not moderate, they are an irresponsible dissolution of power to the highest office in the world: the president of the United States of America.
Let's analyze Romney's primary positions.
The housing crisis is arguably the core instigator of our economic crisis. Along with many economic experts, I have argued that until we see a housing market recovery, we will not see an economic recovery.
What's Mitt Romney's plan to help the housing market? He said that he plans to let the foreclosure market "run its course and bottom out." So in other words do nothing!
In contrast, what has President Barack Obama done to help the housing market recover? He has proposed and implemented multiple programs to help home owners modify loans. Recently, he sent a proposal to Congress to give every responsible homeowner the chance to save approximately $3000 per year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low rates. So in other words, President Obama has done something productive!
THE AUTO INDUSTRY
Being from Detroit, Michigan, I have a personal interest in the auto industry as many of my friends and family are still employed today because the auto industry remains viable. One in eight jobs in Ohio, a neighboring state, is connected to the auto industry as are many jobs throughout the Midwest.
What if Mitt Romney was president? Romney, now famous for stating that he would "Let Detroit go bankrupt." Thereby, almost 1.5 million working individuals throughout the Midwest would be unemployed today. In other words... he would have done nothing!
Conversely, President George W. Bush and later President Barack Obama implemented a plan to rescue the auto industry. That's a big part of why we are still building cars in America today. After an $80 billion bailout, there are almost 1.5 million people throughout the Midwest who are still gainfully employed today.
What is Mitt Romney's plan for health care? If elected, Mitt Romney has stated that on day one of his presidency, he would repeal the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"), which would also repeal the pre-existing conditions clause. After lying about his plan during the presidential debate, stating that his plan covers pre-existing conditions, his own campaign reported that not only does his plan not cover pre-existing conditions, but it also doesn't have a plan for the country. Eric Fehrnstrom, top aide of the Romney campaign stated, "We will give the states initiatives and money so they can manage these decisions on their own." Translation, Romney would allow the states to do the work and he would do nothing!
In addition, Romney has a sudden change of heart as he now believes the emergency room is an effective solution even though he once rightfully admitted this was the most costly and inefficient means of health care for a country! Again, Romney has taken a do-nothing approach.
President Obama has done something no other president has been able to do. He passed the Affordable Care Act and finally gave the country health care reform, a long overdue comprehensive and strategic plan for our future wellbeing and the health of the nation. Now, insurance companies do not have unchecked powers to cancel your policy, deny you or your family coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or charge women more for their policies than men. Now, that's something, that's big change! Currently, 5.3 million seniors and individuals with disabilities can save over $600 each month on prescription drugs because the Medicare coverage donut hole is closed. Also, in 2014, when the law is fully implemented, health care limitations resulting from pre-existing conditions for all of Americans will be a thing of the past.
On this issue, it is very clear where the two candidates stand, but not so clear on the details of Romney's position.
Given that he is such a strong proponent of turning every decision over to the states, let's examine what could happen under a Romney strategy if something tragic happened, if a woman was raped and impregnated. If Romney is successful in getting Roe v. Wade overturned, and a rape survivor happened to live in a state where a strict personhood amendment was passed, a Romney administration would do what? You guessed it: nothing! In these very plausible circumstances, a do-nothing Romney administration might allow the state to force the woman to have that child under its law even though it's against Romney's own principles of allowing abortion in an instance of rape.
Mr. Do Nothing Romney has flip-flopped more than IHOP throughout the years on his position of abortion. However, he seems to have landed on a final position for the purposes of his campaign. He opposes abortion except in instances of rape, incest, or the life of the mother. However, as he has stated repeatedly he would appoint justices who would repeal Roe v. Wade, eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, and has even endorsed "personhood" amendments.
Conversely, President Barack Obama appointed two female justices to the Supreme Court, both of whom seem to believe in a woman's right to choose when it comes to having an abortion. He has also been the eternal fighter of women's rights in other areas when it comes to affording them affordable access to contraception, to being able to not be charged a higher insurance premium through health insurance simply because they are female, and all the way to equal pay for equal work by making the Lily Ledbetter Act the first piece of legislation he signed when he was in office.
What would Mitt Romney have done to catch one of the most dangerous terrorist the US has ever known? Given that Mitt Romney stated, "It's not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person" it would be safe to assume NOTHING!
Barack Obama, under immense pressure, gave the order to kill the terrorist who killed over 3000 Americans here in the United States. Obama has a stellar record on dismantling Al Qaeda by getting rid of many of their top tier leaders.
Mitt Romney took 100 days to come out with a statement saying he would support the executive order and not overturn the Dream Act. What would he do with these "illegals," as he so affectionately calls them after two years? He would allow them to "self-deport," which means he would do NOTHING at all, because he would propose nothing to fix this problem. He seems to think this problem, if you do nothing to it, will fix itself.
Barack Obama was obstructed in Congress from signing the DREAM Act but eventually signed an executive order which allowed millions of children who entered into the country illegally to remain here for at least two years.
As I write this article I am in Brooklyn, NY, unable to travel because the entire city is essentially shut down by Hurricane Sandy. Within 24 hours of this devastating natural disaster, President Obama has already met with FEMA offices, started a "donate to Red Cross" campaign, and I just received an email stating that he was able to coordinate with the states that would lie in Sandy's path.
If Mitt Romney were president, these cash-strapped states would have a much different scenario, as Mitt Romney has called federal spending for disaster relief immoral. He stated that natural disasters should be handled, not by his offices (heaven forbid he actually does work as president), but by the private sector. Again, he would do nothing!
Not only has he spoken out against hiring additional teachers, but Mitt Romney's plan for helping youth pay for college and improving the level of college-educated individuals in our country is to have individuals "borrow money if you have to from your parents" for college. Again, he wants to do nothing!
President Obama has an education agenda which consists of the goal of hiring an additional 100,000 teachers to fill our classrooms, doubling the size of Pell Grants for low-income families to be able to go to school, and saving billions of dollars through legislation like SAFRA.
Romney supports giving a $5 trillion tax cut which will primarily benefit the rich. Clinton explained this expensive deficit-expanding tax cut very eloquently.
It has been debunked by many sources from the right and left that the math of this enormous plan adds up. Romney even endorsed the budget of his running mate Paul Ryan which, if it was enacted in 2011, Mitt Romney would have had to pay .82 percent of his total income in taxes, which is as close to zero as you can get. So even when it comes to taxes, Romney will either give himself the largest tax cut in this country's history under his plan, or perhaps, he would take another look at passing the Paul Ryan budget. Both would allow him to pay almost nothing!
President Obama supports raising taxes on the rich and reversing them to the same percentages held under the Clinton years, when 23 million jobs were created.
ADDING UP TO MR. NOTHING
So my question is how can anybody have a critique of President Obama plan when Romney would have done the following under similar circumstances:
• let the auto industry fail;
• let housing market fully collapse;
• allow the "illegals" to "self deport";
• let terrorists go unpunished;
• let the states force raped women who become impregnated to have their child;
• have the critically sick use the inefficient emergency room while millions suffer or die due to lack of health care coverage;
• let students rely upon their parents for college tuition;
• cut his own taxes to as close to zero as possible and
• if a natural disaster occurs, let the private sector take care of it.
The only thing that Mitt Romney wants to do in office is to pass a Marriage Amendment to the constitution making marriage between one man and one woman. It seems very hypocritical to me that when it comes to most pieces of legislation Romney wants to pass off responsibility to the states, but when it comes to gay rights he wants to deal with that at the federal level.
When did passing the buck become the standard-bearer criteria for the leader of the free world? The choice in this election is an obvious one. If we don't reelect President Obama not only have we chosen to go back to the same policies that brought the destruction of this economy, but we have made the mistake in believing the government has limited purpose to an unreasonable extreme. We will have made the mistake in believing that the office of the president is nothing more than an empty chair whose sole responsibility is not true leadership through making the tough decisions, but purely delegation of responsibility and decisions to the states and the private sector. I want my president to be a leader who has the country's best interests at heart and won't turn his back on his people. When a natural disaster hits, I want a president who wants to be at the helm because he knows that no private company whose ultimate goal is seeking profit will care about the citizens of this country more than the man or woman who sits in that chair in the Oval Office. President Barack Obama has been receiving nothing but praise from even Republican governors like Chris Christie for the phenomenal response he is giving to Hurricane Sandy.
Romney is attempting to capitalize on an environment where the people have become so distrusting of Government, and the disdain/contempt has become so great for many especially on the far right, that he is essentially saying, "If you elect me as your president... I won't do anything!" We have a big decision to make and come November 6th there is no question in my mind why Obama is the best choice.