SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election Forum

November 1, 2012

Our view: Romney for President

Barack Obama inherited a deeply troubled economy when he took office in 2009. While there has been some movement toward pulling the nation out of recession, real progress — the kind that makes a difference in the lives of middle-class families on the North Shore — has been elusive.

The last four years have crippled us with massive unemployment, record home foreclosures and an ever-growing federal debt that now tops $16 trillion.

The situation calls to mind the question Ronald Reagan asked of voters during a 1980 debate with Jimmy Carter:

“Next Tuesday, all of you will go to the polls, will stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were four years ago?”

For too many of us, the answer to that question is “No.” We simply cannot endure another four years of President Obama’s “hope and change” policy — for simply waiting for things to get better.

Mitt Romney’s proven track record as a businessman, Winter Olympics president and Massachusetts governor indicate that he is far better suited to tackle the central challenge facing the country — the moribund economy.

When Romney was elected governor in 2002, the Massachusetts economy was in recession. The technology bubble had burst, and the state was losing jobs at a record rate. The state budget had an immediate shortfall of $450 million and was about to be $3 billion in deficit, and the overwhelmingly Democratic Legislature had little appetite for making the necessary cuts to bring it into balance, as required by law.

As a governor, Romney was pragmatic and managerial, focusing on problem-solving before politics. He appointed smart, accomplished people to key positions, regardless of political affiliation, and he held those people accountable for their work. He made decisions quickly, without hand-wringing.

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