Romney Blasts Obama on Economic Freedom
March 20, 2012
Pumped up by an expected big win in today’s Illinois primary, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney looked ahead to the general election bashing President Barack Obama on the economy. Unable to shift gears on the economy, Romney continues to call Obama the “jobs killer,” despite the 3.5 million jobs created since June 2010. With the Labor Department reporting the nation adding over 200,000 jobs a month and with the unemployment rate dropping to 8.3%, Romney hammers away at Barack’s economic credentials. His latest salvo came at the University of Chicago where the 65-year-old former venture capitalist insisted Obama hampered the nation’s "economic freedom." Blaming Obama for slowing economic recovery, Romney asks voters to believe him, certainly not their own eyes, or, for that matter, the venerable Bureau of Labor statistics.
Recovering about half of the 8 million jobs lost during what former Federal Reserve Board Chairman called the “Great Recession,” Obama’s economic policies have done precisely what everyone wanted: A healthy path to economic recovery. When Obama took the baton from former President George W. Bush and placed his hand on the bible Jan. 20, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at about 8,000. Soaring now to around 13,200, Wall Street has something to cheer about. Romney likes to bash Obama’s economic policies but says only kind things about Bush, whose two costly wars and economic policies led to the worst financial collapse since the Great Depression. “The Obama administration’s assault on our economic freedom is the principal reason why the recovery has been so tepid—why it couldn't meet their projections, let alone our expectations,” said Romney.
Romney apparently finds more economic freedom in financial institutions out of cash, the Dow at 8,000 and unemployment rate approaching 10%. Blaming Obama for the slow pace of recovery doesn’t take into account every major economist’s appraisal of the severity of the Bush recession begun in December 2007. Calling the recession among the three worst financial crises in U.S. history, does Romney really believe the GOP spin that it was Obama’s recession? Speaking vaguely, Romney says the “status” and “standing” of the U.S. is at stake, not specifying which, if any, Obama policy is at fault. With the Supreme Court slated to hear six hours of oral arguments beginning March 26 on Obamacare, Romney can’t pinpoint any particular economic policy that’s delaying economic recovery. Hinting at Obamacare, Romney won’t specify which of the administration’s policies threaten the country.
Romney’s GOP critics often cite his mandatory statewide health insurance plan implemented while governor of Massachusetts from 2003-2007. “If we don’t change course now, this assault on freedom could damage our economy and the well being of American families for decades to come,” said Romney, knowing full-well, should Obamacare survive the U.S. Supreme Court, it could create one of the biggest economic booms in U.S. history. With costs estimated at $1 trillion over the next 10 years, Obamacare could fuel the largest expansion ever seen in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. Romney likes to accuse Obama of standing in the way of economic progress. Yet by all objective, nonpartisan measures, the economy has made a comeback, beginning shortly after Barack signed Feb. 17, 2009 his $787 billion bailout bill into law, less than one month after taking office.
Despite record low tax rates, federal budget deficits are beginning to shrink from increased income and capital gains taxes into the U.S. Treasury. Obama has advocated a 5% tax increase on millionaires to augment government revenue. With all GOP candidates signing on to Grover Norquist’s no tax pledge, the Republican-controlled House led by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) refuses to go along with any tax increases. Saying that American entrepreneurs, like Thomas Edison, The Wright Brothers, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs would have found it “more difficult, if not impossible” to innovate, Romney can’t point to any particular reason. Mitt knows entrepreneurs have the biggest tax breaks in U.S. history under Obama. Barack only wants millionaires, like Romney, to pay their fair share. Bashing Obama scores points with the GOP base but doesn’t match the real math.
Romney wants the GOP to get behind his candidacy and finally end his closest rival former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-Penn.) attempt at the nomination. Most GOP officials know that Santorum, a strong religious conservative, won’t stack up well against Obama next November. Romney can’t be honest with the GOP base that the economy’s recovering well under Obama by all objective measures. “Some of America’s greatest success stories are of people who started out with nothing but a good idea and corner in their garage,” said Romney, making the very point he’s attempting to dispute: That Obama’s tax plan helps struggling entrepreneurs. Romney knows that millionaires, like him, don’t need to pay 5% less in taxes. Under Obama’s tax policies, start-up entrepreneurs are fully protected against over taxation, paying less today than anytime in recent U.S. history.
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