Tuesday 6 November 2012
What's going on?
In case you hadn't noticed, there's an election tonight. The President looks narrowly ahead in state polls - but with the popular vote basically tied, independents keen on Romney, and concerns over turnout, the Republican challenger could win. But does Obama deserve to be re-elected?
Case For: Remember Bush?
When he took office, the US - and so the world - was confronting a Depression. Merely avoiding that is heroic work, and now America's economy is growing faster than any other G7 nation. Unemployment is coming down. Confidence is returning to the private sector. In foreign affairs, he reset relations with the Muslim world, has begun extracting troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, promoted healthy relations with the BRICs, and killed Bin Laden. Closer to home, landmark reforms in healthcare, on Wall Street, and with the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act are hardly minor, and neither is saving the car industry or championing gay rights.
Case Against: Jobs, jobs, jobs
Yes, but the growth has been generated through borrowing and spending, not saving and investing. Obama has saddled future generations with trillions in debt. Mitt Romney's record in business, with the Salt Lake City Olympics, and as Governor of Massachusetts is one of bipartisan co-operation - sorely needed in Washington just now - reducing deficits - desperately needed across America - and job creation. He is at base a moderate, pragmatic Republican in the Reagan mold who can return America to a period of sustained greatness and prosperity; whereas Obama promises merely to mortgage the country's future on the ideas of the past.