"I came in and the jobs had been just falling off a cliff. I came in and they kept falling for 11 months and then we turned around and we're coming back. And that's progress. And if you're going to suggest to me that somehow the day I got elected, somehow jobs should immediately turn around, why that would be silly. It takes a while to get things turned around.”
-Governor Mitt Romney (Press Conference, 6/24/2006)
Although our economy has created 4.5 million new jobs since President Obama took office; although we have prevented another Great Depression; and although Democrats have been continuously fighting to create more jobs, we need to continue promoting policies that have been proven to work, and discontinue those that have failed.
Many of these failed policies stem from the notion that “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
Since our nation’s founding, we have depended upon a strong national government to open up opportunity, ensure equality, encourage competition, and keep our democracy strong. Thus, the only way to continue improving the state of our union is to understand that government is not the cause of our problems, but rather the solution to them.
The government shouldn’t decide who gets married. But in the same way that government needed to step in when certain states enacted the racist Jim Crowe laws that restricted certain freedoms to a minority group, we need a government that can stand up for all those who are discriminated against.
The government shouldn’t tell a business owner how to run his/her business. But if the actions of a company impedes on the free market opportunities of other businesses, as is the case with monopolies or companies that are “too big to fail”, then we need government to enact certain regulations that strengthen the principles of capitalism.
The government shouldn’t use taxpayer dollars to bailout certain industries. But when there are no private lenders willing to invest in an industry that creates millions of domestic jobs and is essential to the economic prosperity of a nation, we need government to step in and save jobs.
The government shouldn’t dictate how private health insurers treat their customers. But when insurance companies mislead patients and misuse premium dollars, we need government to “promote the General Welfare” of its citizens and strengthen the privately-run healthcare industry to provide access and affordable care to all.
And the government shouldn’t enact policies that raise taxes on the wealthiest. But when this class of citizens pays a significantly lower effective tax rate than the rest of society, or when their lower rates come at the expense of middle-class families, we need government to ensure that “everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules,” (Obama).
Clearly we are on the right track and we’re making progress. But in order to ensure that we continue to move this country forward, we need another term for President Obama and the continued leadership of the Democrats.