Our nation is forward thinking, focused on matters immediate to our circumstances. We have been tested by slavery, war, civil rights and the Great Depression. We have pushed through adversity addressing socioeconomic injustice, a struggle that continues. Today, we are in the grips of a devastating economic downturn and as we seek to restore our economy, never in our nation’s history has it been more important to give action, not words its proper due come November. I premise the following by saying, “He who hangs from a politicians promise hangs from a thread. Actions are a politician’s greatest measure.”
Not a member of Congress, on either side of the aisle, will deny that President Obama inherited the largest deficit in this nation’s history, at $10.626 trillion. When President Obama took office, the economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month. Now, we’ve seen 31 consecutive months of job growth and 5.2 million new private sector jobs. On the other hand, under the leadership of Governor Romney, the State of Massachusetts fell from 36th to 47th out of 50 states in job creation and lost more than 40,000 manufacturing jobs, twice the national average. Under Obama’s leadership, since January 2010, U.S. manufacturing has added 459,000 jobs—the most manufacturing job growth in a decade. The economy was in free fall when Obama took office and he stopped the bleeding and turned the tide, a tide that has been like no other, given global economic dynamics.
When Romney supported bankruptcy of the auto industry, which would have given an edge to foreign imports, Obama stood firm and refused to turn his back on Americans, saving more than one million jobs. Romney, on the other hand, failed to protect jobs in Massachusetts, as governor, and outsourced state jobs to India. This is more than a numbers game; it is about doing the right thing in difficult times.
In the State of Texas, the unemployment rate fell to 6.8 percent last month down from 7.9 a year ago. And in Central Ohio unemployment dropped below 6 percent, for the first time since the recession, to 5.7 percent last month, which was at 7.4 a year ago. Unemployment rates in 41 states fell to 7.8 percent down from 9 percent a year ago, but this trend does not play well for Romney’s campaign. So instead of hearing percentages you will hear unruly numbers from the Romney campaign because they are dramatic and divert your attention from an economy on the rebound. But the trend is undeniable and gives credence to an economy being restored responsibly notwithstanding Republican’s refusal to pass Obama’s jobs stimulus bill.
President Obama not only promised tax cuts to the middle class, but delivered, saving the average middle class family $3,600 annually, in his first term. Comparatively, Governor Romney cut taxes for himself and 278 of the wealthiest individuals, in Massachusetts, and went on to increase taxes and fees to the middle class.
Obama has developed a specific budget plan to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over 10 years, which includes $1 trillion in spending cuts. His plan has been verified by the non-profit, non-partisan Tax Policy Center. The center also examined Romney’s proposal and determined that it would reduce federal revenues by $480 billion in 2015 and create a tax cut just this side of $5 trillion over 10 years, by increasing taxes on the middle class and decreasing taxes on the wealthy. Governor Romney left Massachusetts with a debt of $1 billion and borrowed $600 million to maintain basic government services, something he vowed never to do.
When weighing action and words, there is no question that Obama made promises regarding our economic circumstances based on collective and sound economic strategies, but he did not deliver. Neither did he anticipate a Republican controlled Congress that would place their political agenda before the interest of the people and vow to make him their number one priority—a one term president. I can’t help but have absolute disdain for this position when our country suffers from conditions created by the Bush Administration. Despite these difficulties Obama has managed to turn an economy around and resurrect the idea that more than economics drive this nation. There are issues of social justice, equity and access on the line in November.
President Obama supported women in their struggle for equality and signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a bill that helps women fight against pay discrimination; a bill that Governor Romney refused to take a position on and a bill that his running mate, Senator Paul Ryan, opposed.
On the matter of gay rights, Obama committed his support to the gay community in their struggle for equal protection under the law, in all regards. Governor Romney, in response to the Massachusetts’s Supreme Court decision upholding gay marriages said, “I disagree…Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman. I will support an amendment to the Massachusetts constitution to make that expressly clear.”
Obama’s positions have been clear and consistent and Romney’s positions have been a moving target. One day Russia is our greatest threat, a nation that supported UN sanctions on Iran, the harshest in world history and the next day Iran is our greatest threat. Obama ended the Iraq War and brought all our troops home, a position Romney disagrees with.
President Obama supports the rights of women to make their own health care choices without political interference. Romney believes women’s health choices should be legislated by government and will seek to overturn Roe v. Wade. President Obama supported funding of Planned Parenthood, one of the largest providers of women’s health services and Governor Romney vowed to eliminate all federal funding for Planned Parenthood, directly affecting millions of women across this nation, as parents and employees.
In matters of education, President Obama’s budget doubles funding for Pell Grants and establishes an education tax credit. His student loan reform has saved over $60 billion and prevented interest rate increases on student loans, creating greater access to higher education for low income households.
Romney, on the other hand, supports education vouchers, which sends tax dollars to private institutions reducing funding for public education. Romney said if you want to start a business or go to college, borrow money from your parents. He has led a privileged life and sees the world through rose-colored glasses. This is not a fault, but a reality that does not exist for millions across this nation.
This election may lead to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Four sitting justices are over the age of 74, two Democratic and two Republican appointees. A vacancy on either side of this equation may affect decisions regarding gay marriage, women’s health, unlimited corporate campaign contributions, voting rights and affirmative action.
Consequently, when weighing actions and words, actions do not lie. Therefore, if you are seeking sustainable economic growth, tax equity, foreign diplomacy, protection of our environment, social justice and looking to improve the overall health of this nation from the middle out, down and up then the choice is clearly President Obama. It is action not words that speak loudest in this matter.