As chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, I get the chance to travel our state and speak with many hardworking Americans. From my conversations, one thing is clear, hardworking folks are frustrated with our country’s economic situation. Those Americans have every right to feel that way.
Welcome to Barack Obama’s America. Where “hope” was just an empty slogan, well-paying jobs have become a tale of the past and (pocket) “change” is all that is left after government takes its slice of the pie.
Obama has the worst record on job creation of any president since the Great Depression. Under his watch, Americans have lost an average of 14,300 jobs per month. This is not just unacceptable; it’s a tragedy. Hardworking Americans should be frustrated under Obama.
November’s election is more than just Democrat vs. Republican; this is about restoring the America that has driven us to be an engine of job growth and the most powerful economy in the world.
Americans aspire to succeed, because underpinning the American spirit is a deeply held notion that through hard work and determination, all can achieve success. Thanks to Obama, those aspirations are becoming more of a challenge every day.
His attempts to have government hold our hand at every stage of life has only backfired in a way that prevents us from fulfilling the building blocks of American life, including finding a job to support your family, keeping health care between doctors and patients and having the freedom to make our own decisions.
Consider that Obama’s rhetoric has done little to contain the costs for a high school senior to go to college. The economic investment of a bachelor’s degree is countered by an unprecedented burden to borrow money to pay to attend an institution of higher learning.
Under Obama, in-state tuition costs at four year universities have grown 25 percent overall and 8.3 percent alone in 2011. These costs are at an all-time high. As these costs grow at a higher rate than inflation, the amount of student debt and burden to the taxpayer has no end in sight.
In fact, student loan debt now accounts for more than $1 trillion — more than the debt held on credit cards or car loans. Student loan debt has increased 60 percent in five years, leading more and more to default on their payments. Affording the more reasonable costs of higher education was once met with the almost certain prospect of a job upon graduation. Not so any more.
The likelihood of finding a job in the Obama economy has become pressing and difficult for many. Graduating seniors, who invested countless hours and dollars to have a well-paying job are finding themselves underemployed, working two to three low-wage jobs just to pay off loans, if they are lucky.
Many are unable to find work, and many more are finding no other option but to move back home with their parents. They will join the millions of others left unemployed by Obama’s failures to lead. What’s more depressing is that these policies don’t come free and their failure has been pricey.
Obama campaigned on a promise to balance budgets and reduce our national deficit. But calls for fiscal responsibility were met with a closed door. Under Obama, credit agencies have cut our pristine financial outlook for the first time in history.
These are not the kind of facts any child should have to read in an American history book and President Obama should be ashamed to have them as a legacy of his presidency. But the destruction continues, and this president has introduced budgets that have brought the three largest deficits in our history. While Europe is on the brink of fiscal crisis, America isn’t far behind.
Consider Greece, a country that is on the edge of not just economic collapse, but a serious humanitarian crisis. Greek debt will soon grow to 153.2 percent of GDP. America’s debt is expected to rise to 106.6 percent in 2012. I shudder to think what might happen if we don’t rein in government spending.
Obama is driving us down a dangerous path to change the fabric of our nation by creating a society that does not rely on the hard work of individuals. Instead it begs at the feeding hand of government. For the sake of our future, it’s critical that this November we take back the wheel. Our nation needs Mitt Romney.
We need a leader who will restore fiscal sanity to Washington, D.C., and who will create an atmosphere that will allow hardworking men and women to get back to work. We need a leader who has a proven track record of success in the private market. That leader is Mitt Romney, and I would ask you to join me in supporting him this November.
Rob Gleason is chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party.