The last presidential debate was flat. There were few differences between Governor Romney and President Obama in terms of their answers. However their vision for America is different. One had a hopeful message and a fresh look for the country. The other was conventional for good reason; it was an incumbent’s message. Not only that, but it lacked creativity. President Obama thinks that the last four years were good for America and should be continued for the next four.

Tell that to the 23 million who are unemployed or underemployed and making less than they were before Barack Obama took office. Tell that to those 46.7 million who depend on food stamps, or those in the middle class where wages have been the lowest since 1995. Last but not least, don’t forget the $1,089 billion 2012 deficit which President Obama promised to cut in half. He took office with a $1,413 billion deficit and still hasn’t lowered the $16 trillion debt.

What are Obama’s proposals for his second term? Just two weeks left into the election and he finally proposed his “new” plan.

I. Jobs

On jobs, Obama wants to increase manufacturing throughout the U.S. According to his plan, he will create 1 million new jobs from manufacturing by 2016 through a vague plan of ending tax loopholes and deductions for corporations while keeping tax rates low for domestic manufacturers and corporations alike. Where is the liberal media asking for specifics on his tax loopholes and deductions? Nowhere in sight.

Obama’s plan is similar to Governor Romney’s except that Romney’s plan creates more jobs. The vast majority of Romney’s projected 12 million jobs would come from the energy sector with 4 million jobs.

When it comes to taxes, Obama will raise them. He plans to keep the Bush Tax Cuts for the middle class but he will raise them for the wealthy making more than $250,000. He believes that raising these will help pay off the national debt. Romney disagrees. He wants to lower taxes for all Americans to a 20 percent tax rate because higher taxes can potentially cripple the business owners who hire the vast majority of American workers.

The problem with Obama’s assertion is that as taxes have been cut under JFK, Reagan, and George W. Bush, public revenue increased. As taxes are lowered, private investment increases and grows businesses hiring more people which can be taxed for more public revenue.

Remember, Obama had an opportunity to do what he is now proposing back in  December 2010. He extended all of the Bush tax cuts. He could have fought the Republicans and let the tax cuts expire but the interesting fact is that members of his own administration agreed increasing taxes in a recession would be detrimental to economic growth. That powerful aide was Lawrence Summers who opposes Obama’s plan to let the tax cuts expire.

II. Government Spending

Both candidates lack specifics about cutting government spending. The president proposes to cut $4 trillion in four years. He believes that cutting “corporate welfare” will help bring down the debt. Romney is not any more clear with his proposal. For example, he wants to cut PBS to bring down government spending from 24 percent of GDP to 20. However, Romney succeeds by reforming both Medicare and Social Security for which our president has no plan.

All Obama has delivered is Obamacare which does not extend the solvency of Medicare. It cuts $716 billion from the senior healthcare program. Reforms need to be made, but what he should not do is take money away from an already active entitlement to form another. The problem with spending is not relocating funds to create new programs; the problem is the number of government programs this country has.

III. Energy

Both campaigns also agree on energy independence. They both want the U.S to become energy independent. Obama proposes more clean energy programs like the one he created with Solyndra where the administration gave $535 million to a solar energy company that went bust.

Energy independence is achieved by approving projects like the Keystone Pipeline, which Governor Romney supports. He wants to hand out more oil drilling permits as well.

 

And then comes the rhetoric. The last debate could not have been any clearer. Romney is determined to work with Democrats. He is correct in stating that he got things done even though his Massachusetts legislature that was 87 percent Democratic. He balanced the budget every year as governor. He also departed from the neoconservative and Obama policy that military assaults are best for handling terrorism. He said in the last debate, “But we can’t kill our way out of this mess.”

Four more years with Obama will not be like four years of Mitt Romney. This president has talked about those “new” ideas many times during his State of the Union Addresses. But where is the change?

Looking at the facts above and the state of this country, who really wants four more years of rhetoric? For example, when the President says:

“You know, over the last four years, we’ve made real progress digging our way out of policies that gave us two prolonged wars, record deficits and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression?”

We need a change, pronto.

Alex Uzarowicz | Knox College | @AUzarowicz