Sunday, September 23, 2012

What Issues Are Important to You in This Election?

Why I Am Voting FOR Mitt Romney and Not Merely Against Obama

For some time now I have been asking many people this simple question: "For you, what are the key issues of this campaign"?

I have been delighted to hear both the willingness to engage on the subject and the wide range of issues that people consider when voting. It has been illuminating and educational.

When those I have engaged in this conversation have the respect to turn the question back on me, here is my answer....

3 Critical Crises

Our country is facing a series of crises of unprecedented magnitude. While we could engage on many, for me the focus must be on 3 critical concerns:

1)  Economic Growth
2)  the federal debt

3)  National Security


To me these three critical issues dwarf all other considerations.

Why? Because no matter your stand on education, health, social issues, etc., (all worthy of concern) no meaningful action, one way or another, can truly take place, until we get our own house in order. To be concerned about who should be allowed to marry who or how health care should be distributed, is a little bit like choosing between removing my valuables from  a safe or saving the lives of people in a house that is in flames.  Clearly, if we have time and it is safe, you want to do both. Unfortunately I am afraid that we don't have the time to even have that discussion.

When lives are at stake, the priority should be on saving lives.

Economic Growth

In this election, the first and most dangerous fire is jobs and the economy. However, it is not merely about how many people we put to work but also what kind of economic philosophy is going to drive our country going forward. Here are our choices as I see them.

Do we work to restore a commitment to prosperity and the creation of wealth, or one in which we merely put people to work?

The President’s plan is one that relies on direct funding of work with little or no regard of the source of those funds.  To be clear, I believe in the great work of teachers, firefighters, police officers, and road construction workers. As the son of a man who taught unselfishly for 50 years, I can testify to the difference that one teacher can make in the lives of a human being.

But we need to take a step back to understand that what allows for great teachers to flourish is an underlying healthy economy that generates enough wealth to support the hiring of great teachers, firefighters and police officers. Small Business, Entrepreneurs and owners of private enterprise are the creators of goods, products and services.  These products and services, when they are successful, lead to wealth creation, good jobs and the ability to provide sufficient funding for necessary public works, schools and the services that protect all of our citizens, especially the most vulnerable. So, a vibrant economy is critical, because without it, all other services, programs, and initiatives become "at risk" regardless of their merit.

Mitt Romney Has a Better Approach

Instead of directly funding the middle layers of our economy in which the government takes the role of directing the funds of the wealthy and future taxpayers to our noble teachers, firefighters, etc, Mitt Romney proposes that the role of government  should be to encourage private sector growth, by freeing up funds, primarily through a fair and level tax policy and reasonable regulation that promotes private investment, creating opportunity for wealth creation and solid jobs for all. The wealthier all of us are as citizens, the more we have available to extend the judicious use of citizen led initiatives, including but not limited to government programs to address the wide range of the social challenges we face.  Simply put, people, with the freedom to invest and take risks, will do a better job of creating a wealthier society that impacts us all than well meaning, but limited government bureaucrats.

Federal Debt Secondly we have a federal debt  that is out of control. It is irresponsible and unconscionable that we would allow the federal debt to increase to $16 trillion. This puts at risk future prosperity and limits the options that we have available for the necessary work of government. I simply will not stand by to pass along this large debt to my children and their children.  It is immoral and unfair.  It also saps our nation’s ability to meet our basic responsibilities.

How so?  With every dollar that we spend on the interest servicing our debt, we lose a dollar for other necessary programs. This means every dollar sent to China to service the debt is a dollar we don't have for social security, medicaid, healthcare, programs for education, national  security – or anything else, just name it. This is a beast that must be controlled and the most powerful way to approach this is to combine a sensible way of reigning in the spending, combined with a “pedal to the metal” fueling up of economic growth. Bear in mind that for every 1% rise in the GDP we contribute almost $700-$800 billion is added revenue for the federal government. This is why having economic growth is the number one priority for taming the federal deficit.  Having success with this first and most important issue makes the tough work of the second much easier.  Most of the pundits who are looking for the specifics in the Romney/Ryan plan and state in pontificating terms "that it does not add up", are guilty of looking at the economic world from a static perception. It does not add up because they have no faith in the power of an American economy unleashed. Imagine what would happen to our government revenues if we could coax and extra 2% RISE OUT OF THE GDP? Why it might be enough to raise even the fortunes of California.

Here, Mitt Romney along with his partner Paul Ryan have an absolute sterling record of success in managing and controlling budgets and turning around difficult situations so that success could be achieved.  Whether   you look to his work in the private sector, his volunteer work during the winter Olympics, or his unpaid leadership as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt has a superior track record of success in turning around challenging situations and leaving many much better off.

Foreign Policy Finally our current foreign-policy is a disaster. The question isn't should we have a foreign policy that enhances the security of the United States and leads to a safer world? That is a nearly universally shared goal. The better question is, how do we best achieve that? 

Here again I think that Romney has a distinct and positive solution. First and foremost he clearly differentiates himself from the president by calling for a stronger commitment to military and defense spending. It's a sensible 20% of GDP commitment to military spending which is consistent with our level of commitment for over 40 years.  Having the interest payments on our debt going to fuel Chinese expansion of their military is unconscionable.  If we reduce the level of payments to the Chinese we can afford to update and modernize  our own military, thus  enhancing  the strength of our military force. Obama has proposed over $500 billion in cuts to the military and a reduction in our military force. Compared to Ronald Reagan’s successful foreign policy initiatives, Obama couldn't provide a more diametrically opposed philosophy.   Ronald Reagan famously demonstrated, the effectiveness of “Peace Through Strength” -- and I believe that Romney brings that same essential proven successful philosophy to his approach on foreign-policy. Drones and Special Forces alone will not provide us the security nor offer us the options that come from a military that cannot be challenged. All foreign issues are not simply “criminal actions” that necessitate a limited police like response.  Nothing is as potent as having a complete top to bottom military that is second to none.

Now some may challenge this with, “How can we afford a military buildup when we are struggling with deficits?”  A sensible question.  I respond with three points:  It is a matter of priorities: 1) Economic Growth, key to all other issues.  2) Reduce foreign interest payments with fair budgets, 3) maintain security spending @20% of GDP.  This means that we manage security spending in a manner that is affordable and makes economic growth and reduction of foreign debt payment THE critical issues in order to achieve those security goals.

This then allows the United States to project influence into dangerous parts of the world and have our influence be taken seriously. I believe that the current administration's approach puts at serious risk our standing in the world.

So there you have it, these are my top issues and reasons for voting for Mitt Romney and not necessarily against Pres. Obama.

Mitt is a man who was successful in turning around businesses with  and setting them up for sustained success.  He turned a troubled Olympics around, , guiding the 2002 Winter Olympics into one of the most successful endeavors in Olympic history.  Finally, he demonstrated his ability to be an effective leader in a government executive position.  As governor of the state of Massachusetts, he was able to bring an out-of-control budget under control, while at the same time managing the education standards of that  state  in such a way that they were envy of others.  

We must elect Mitt Romney not merely to defeat President Obama, but because he is the right man at the right time that will tackle these three most important issues in a manner that, I believe. will help turn this country .

These are my issues and concerns.  That is why I am voting for Romney and not necessarily against President Obama!

What are your issues and concerns?

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