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Don’t turn the clock back now

July 19, 2012
Rose Elsbecker, Marshalltown , Times-Republican

The state of the economy appears to be the number one issue for voters in the upcoming 2012 presidential election. This November, thousands of voters will make their way to the polls to voice their opinion. Let us be careful to consider the facts, rather than to be swayed by all the hype, when we cast our vote for the future. The television ads supported by presidential contender, Mitt Romney, blame Obama solely for the nation's financial crisis. The fact remains, Obama inherited a $1.2 trillion deficit when he took office in January of 2009. The downturn in 2009 began with a fiscal year budget determined under the administration of Republican President George Bush, long before Obama took office. Most of what Romney has called "a spending inferno" began with appropriations and policies already in place when Obama took office, including bank bailout legislation approved by President Bush. In contrast, spending for the current fiscal year is running slightly below the same period last year and below projections. Although there is still much work to be done, things are headed in a positive direction. For 28 straight months, the number of private sector jobs has increased. Manufacturers added 11, 000 jobs in June. The president has proposed tax breaks for companies that retain jobs at home, rather than exporting them overseas. He has also proposed measures to protect working families from tax hikes. His blueprint for the future calls for a plan for a new partnership between businesses and community colleges, to help train and place 2 million skilled workers right here at home.

Take a look at the state of affairs when Romney was governor of Massachusetts. Taxes and fees increased, over $750 million per year, including increased taxes on marriage licenses, driver's licenses and gun licenses. Manufacturing jobs declined 2x the national rate. The state was rated 47 out of 50 for job creation at that time. At one time, Romney was CEO of Bain Capital, a pioneer in outsourcing jobs once held by American workers, to low-wage countries such as China and India.

We can't afford to turn the clock back now. Progress, though slow, is still progress. Think how much more progress could have been made, had Congress chosen to work together with the president in his efforts to put people back to work and to keep their homes. Let us pull together to re-elect a president, a proven leader, who has faith in the ingenuity and abilities of the American worker, and who has paved the way for a brighter future for Americans of all ages.



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