As Governor Mitt Romney has clearly become the 2012 GOP presidential candidate, President Obama has officially begun the attack on Romney this week.
At a fund raising Thursday night, 4/5, “We are going to have a big and important debate in this country, and I cannot wait,” Obama touted. “We have tried what they are selling. We tried what they are peddling and it did not work. We have spent the last three years cleaning up after some of that mess and I don’t want to do it again.”
Obama continued: “This is going to be a big debate and it’s going to be a fun debate. It’s always good to have the truth on your side. But it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to have to work hard. A lot of folks out there are still struggling.”
What should the next big debates be between President Obama and Governor Romney?
1) First and foremost should be the economy. For once, President Obama is correct… a lot of folks out there are still struggling. Even after pumping into the economy 5 trillion that the government borrowed from China in his 3 years, the economy is still fragile. Unemployment rate is still high—although the rate dipped to 8.2% in March due to many discouraged workers dropping out of the hunt for jobs. Hiring slowed more than expected in March. Many economists now believe that the warmer-than-normal weather inflated the job market in January and February—i.e. we celebrated the so-called “Obama recovery” quite prematurely. A second wave of foreclosures is expected coming this year as Obama’s mortgage bailout has failed.
President Obama: we don’t want to hear you blaming Bush and Republicans anymore—we’ve heard enough—because you had your chances in 2009-2010 with majority in both Houses of Congress to pass any job bills, any tax bills, or any bills to build/recover this economy your way. You chose not to do so while running up 4-5 trillion in deficit—the money that you had to beg China for. Let us hear if you have any new plans now and we will see if we can believe that you will implement them.
Governor Romney: most of us get it that Obama has failed to recover the economy. Let us hear your plans. Let us hear how you can create jobs and help 45 million people getting off Obama’s food stamps. Let us hear more details in your plan to encourage companies bringing jobs back—beyond lowering the corporation tax rate to 25% and the switch to territorial tax system. Let us hear details in your education plan to prepare our children for a rapidly changing technology.
2) Tax and budget balance. I hope that both of you will at least agree that the national debt is at an extremely dangerous level—over 15 trillion. How can we stand up to China if we expect them to keep lending us money? Let us hear how each of you can reduce the annual deficit and when you will balance the budget.
Governor Romney: while we understand your proposal plan to cut 20% across all individual income tax brackets and to lower corporate tax rate to 25% is meant to promote economic growth, let us hear specific spending cuts to pay for these tax cuts. While we applaud your calling Paul Ryan’s budget “marvelous”, we would like to hear your commitment in cutting spendings further in your first term—and details. Let us hear when you are committed to balance the budget.
President Obama: tell us if you plan to let your 2% Social Security Tax cut expire and implement tax cut on ordinary income—after all, we can’t keep robbing the Social Security Trust Fund over 100 billion annually. Let us hear if you have any plan on reducing the deficit as we can’t keep running up a trillion plus deficit a year. Perhaps, you can start with some wastes in your administration—like $823,000 for the GSA Western Conference in Las Vegas; or $860,000 for Secretary Panetta’s 27 trips to his home—if Speaker Boehner can fly commercial airlines to save over 2 million that Pelosi’s 85 flights cost us between March 2009 and June 2010, then Panetta can too. Tell us if you can prevent future 535 million waste to the likes of the Solyndra guaranteed loan. Let us hear your commitment to work with the House of Representatives to pass a solid and responsible budget—the Senate is hopeless since under Harry Reid, the Senate has not passed a budget in 3 years.
3) Health Care will once again be an important debate for this election as ObamaCare may be struck down partially or fully by SCOTUS.
President Obama: we’ve heard enough how you touted that ObamaCare is a law approved by a “democratically elected Congress“—perhaps you meant it was approved by Democrats in Congress as all Republicans and even 34 responsible Democrats voted against it. Let us hear if you can have another health care plan that both parties can approve and be constitutional.
Governor Romney: we know that you would want to repeal ObamaCare and help states coming up with their own healthcare plans. Let us hear your explanations why RomneyCare at state level is better than ObamaCare at the national level—beside the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Let us hear details how your plan can keep cost down, provide health care to all who need it without bankrupting the country.
4) Energy Policy: when the economy recovers, let’s not let the dependency on foreign oil slows it down—especially while we are standing on top of almost 2.1 trillion barrels of shale oil reserves.
President Obama: we’ve heard your “inflate your tires”, “algae” and alternative energy theories. While we mostly believe that alternative energy will be needed, it is not yet here. How do you lead us out of foreign oil dependency? Let us hear whether you will approve Keystone XL Pipeline extension—tell us whether your postponement of final decision of this project to 2013 is meant to be one of your after election flexibilities or just a scheme not to lose votes in an election year. Explain to us why your administration blocked the off-shore drilling off US coasts but yet provided interest-free loan to drilling off the coast of Brazil. Tell us if you’re still committed to this policy… “If somebody wants to build a coal-fired power plant, they can. It’s just that it will bankrupt them,” Obama said, responding to a question about his cap-and-trade plan. He later added, “Under my plan … electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” While oil production has increased 13.5% from 2008 to 2011 under your watch, however, 8.5% has been due to production from private owned land Bakken—its production has increased 143.5% in the same period. Let us hear if you are committed to open more federal lands for drilling.
Governor Romney: while we may agree with the Republicans in “drill and drill more” to get off foreign dependency, let us hear your plan for alternative energy for the future. We’ve heard your promise to prevent overregulation of shale gas development and extraction, let us hear details on how you provide necessary regulations to control air and water pollution from the extraction and processing of shale oil.
5) China: last but by no mean least important. China’s aggression in Asia-Pacific region is threatening the stability in the region. China has increasingly flexed his “military power” to bully countries in the region and to enforce its groundless claim of its own 9-dotted U-shape line in the area named South China Sea despite international laws, such as United National Convention of the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS). Let us hear details in your plan to “maintain robust military capabilities” in the Pacific, your commitment to keep US obligations to defend Philippines, and if you plan to expand military operation with Vietnam. Additionally, from 2009 to 2011, the trade deficit with China increased from 227 to 295 billion. Tell us if you have any plan to balance trades with China. Let us hear how you will deal with China’s currency manipulation. What will you do in order to protect US intellectual properties?
Governor Romney and President Obama, let us hear comparisons and contrasts—not blames nor distractions—between your plans for the future of the country. Let us hear your commitments—not just promises—to lead this country back to economy prosperity. Let us hear how you mend this divided country—to combine 99% with 1% to be 100% again. Let the debates for America begin, and may the man with the best plans become our next 45th President.