November 2012 And The Choice We Face

The die has been cast and the lines have been drawn. With Romney announcing his running mate, we have been given a clear picture of the choice we have to make in November. There is a lot of noise out there and it’s about to get noisier. The flood of 30-second ads telling us why we should vote for this guy or that guy shall fill the nations airwaves. But 30-second ads don’t tell the story. Facts do.

There are a lot of issues to discuss. Let’s begin with three of them.

BUSINESS

According to the Romney campaign, Obama is a terrible failure when it comes to business. But when one addresses the facts, a different picture emerges. When Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average opened at 7,949.09. It closed this past Friday, August 10, 2012 at 13,207.95, representing an increase of a little over 60% since Obama took office. Compare that to George Bush, who inherited a DOW on his inauguration that opened at 10,587.59. During his first term in the White House, the DOW lost 1%. During his second term, another 24% was lost. This is germane because the Romney-Ryan ticket has embraced the same advisers from the Bush-Cheney administration. The policies of the Bush administration took us down the path of economic damnation but it will pale in the face of what a Romney-Ryan administration has in store for us.

HEALTH CARE

Where it concerns health care, the Ryan Plan, which sends some on the right into a near swoon, will effectively end Medicare, overturn The Affordable Care Act and leave us all to our own devices. Despite Republican claims that they stand for shrinking the deficit, they don’t seem to care about the deficit at all according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO reported that repealing Obamacare will result in adding an additional $109 billion to the deficit over the 2013-2022 period.


A recent third-party ad about the effects of Bain Capital closing down a company, causing a man to lose his job, his health insurance and later his wife to cancer, caused an uproar on the right. There was anger at Romney being branded a murderer, which is not what the ad claimed at all. What the right ignored was reality, the full story of what happened to that man and his wife as a result of the actions of Bain Capital, a company co-founded by Mitt Romney. Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul defended against the ad saying, “If people had been in Massachusetts, under Governor Romney’s health care plan, they would have had health care.” For that statement, touting the crowning achievement of Romney’s term as governor that is never mentioned, a hue and cry arose for her immediate firing. So it’s okay that a woman died due to a heartless company but it isn’t okay to point that out.

Without any kind of real health care plan, other than a paltry voucher for seniors, Mr. Romney has also vowed to defund Planned Parenthood, thereby insuring that millions of women will have no health care of any kind. Under a Romney-Ryan administration, only those who can afford to stay healthy will stay healthy. The rest of us? Well, that’s an open question. Perhaps we can find Michele Bachmann and ask her how best to carry out the Chickens for Payment Plan to our physicians.

Obamacare, however, has benefits that are in force now, with more to come.

JOBS

On the jobs front, there is a clear choice as well. One does not need a genius on staff to realize that job growth has been sluggish at best. Mitt Romney has labeled President Obama a “job killer”, but in so doing, the former governor of Massachusetts conveniently neglects to mention that with Obama at the helm, private sector jobs have increased nearly every month for the past two years while public sector jobs have been lost. This past June, the private sector added 84,000 jobs, while 4,000 government jobs were lost. Since May 2010 1.04 million public sector jobs have been cut, while the private sector has added 4.35 million jobs since February 2010. Even with poor job numbers, Obama looks better than Bush in private sector job growth but the big surprise is that Bush far outshines Obama when it comes to public sector jobs. Which is pretty amusing with all the talk from Republicans about ‘smaller government.’ But remember that when you’re talking about public sector jobs, a great number of them are police, firefighters and teachers. Then it isn’t so amusing that those jobs have been cut due to budgetary restraints, much to the detriment of our society. But Mitt Romney had this to say of Obama:

“He wants another stimulus, he wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”

Ask yourself: Do we really want to take more firefighters and police off our streets? Do we really want to further reduce the number of teachers in our classrooms?

The ramifications of the Bush Recession have echoed throughout the Obama presidency and an obstructionist Republican Party has refused to help this president make serious inroads because as Mitch McConnell so succinctly put it, “Our number one job is to insure that Obama is a one term president.” Just think where the US would be right now if Obama’s Jobs Bill had not been blocked by the new do-nothing congress.

There is a lot to think about between now and November, foremost being what kind of country and what kind of people we want to be.

Ann Werner is a blogger and the author of CRAZY and Dreams and Nightmares. You can view her work at ARK Stories

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