“This is my last election. After my election, I have more flexibility.” These were President Obama’s words to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in March.
By voting to re-elect President Obama on Tuesday, the U.S. has decided to put off making the tough fiscal changes our nation needs for a while longer.
The U.S. will reach the fiscal cliff at the end of this year, and the closest thing to a real solution the president has offered is taxing wealthier Americans at a higher rate. Regardless of whether this policy is good or bad, the president can’t get the approval of Congress to pass this or any other solution that might reduce the deficit.
Obama won a second term claiming that Mitt Romney's math didn’t work out. The problem is, we know the president’s math doesn’t work out. The new $5 trillion in debt since he took office proves it. In fact, if spending is kept on par with the past four years through the president’s second term, the debt will literally double during the president’s time in office.
The president was right when he said he has more flexibility now than he did in his last term. After Obama successfully passed the Affordable Care Act, the Republican Party made large gains in the House of Representatives during the 2010 midterms. These gains were a referendum on President Obama’s first two years in office from a frustrated public. The president was lucky the frustration of 2010 did not bleed over into Tuesday’s results.
The problem is, there’s not another election. Any referendum on the president’s policies this time will do nothing but tighten the gridlock that already exists.
For the good of the nation, it is imperative the president does not take this victory as license to implement even more polarizing policies than he did in his previous term. He should use this victory to find solutions to the problems America will face in the coming weeks and months.
A good start would be passing a budget, which the federal government has not done in more than 1,200 days.
America cannot keep spending money it doesn’t have and placing the debt on the backs of future generations. Continued growth in spending will do nothing but bankrupt the services our government needs to provide in the future, including Social Security and Medicaid.
America needs real solutions quickly. Gov. Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan brought real solutions the table. Sadly, balancing a budget is never easy, and the tough choices Romney and Ryan presented may have lost them votes.
America is the greatest nation on earth because it is the shining city on a hill that represents freedom and prosperity for all who work for it. It didn’t become the greatest nation in the world by building a bigger financial safety net; it became the greatest nation in the world by creating a thriving job market so its citizens could build their own prosperity.
Romney wanted to work to preserve a strong America for future generations. In Obama’s first term as president, he simply tried to manage it through decline.