Four years ago, I supported Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency. My wife served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. We supported him because he promised to bring an end of partisanship in Washington. He promised to govern as a pragmatist and turn our economy around. He promised to create jobs and restore fiscal responsibility.
He promised all these thingsâ€”and more. The American people took him at his word and elected him to the White House. And we waited.
We waited for his policies to bring the kind of change he talked about on the campaign trail. We waited for businesses to start hiring again. We waited for a return to fiscal sanity.
Almost four years into the Obama presidency, weâ€™re still waiting. It turns out his policies arenâ€™t what they were cracked up to be. Americans across the country are not better off. There are 23 million people struggling to find work. Families are slipping into poverty like never before. Recent college graduates are facing record levels of student loan debt while being unable to find a job.
Meanwhile, our government has fallen into fiscal disrepair. Instead of reducing the debt President Obama once called â€śunpatriotic,â€ť our national debt recently surpassed $16 trillion. Instead of cutting the deficit in half as President Obama once pledged, he has run four consecutive trillion dollar deficits. Programs like Social Security and Medicare are on the road to bankruptcy, and without reform, we jeopardize these programs for the next generation and leave young Americans an inheritance of insolvency.
I like President Obama personally. I think his policies are well-intentioned, though ill-contrived. But there comes a point when results matterâ€”and by that measure, President Obama hasnâ€™t delivered.
In 2008, black Americans overwhelmingly voted for President Obama. His election was no doubt a historic achievement for our community. But the unfortunate reality is that his policies have failed the very people who elected him. Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by his poor stewardship over the economy, facing an unemployment rate that has not fallen below 12.5% since President Obama took office.
Instead of focusing on jobs from day one of his administration, he set out to pass a massive government takeover of healthcare. This legislation came at the price of money, economic growth, and freedom. It imposes new taxes and regulations on small businesses that have not only killed jobs, but have also lead employers to drop employees from their healthcare plans because itâ€™s too expensive to keep them on it. And it empowers the government to force citizens to buy something they donâ€™t want.
After four years of the same government-growing policies producing the same inadequate results, President Obama refuses to change course. As we saw at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday, he simply doubles down on the very ideas which havenâ€™t worked. He merely recycles the same empty promises. Legend credits Albert Einstein with saying that â€śinsanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.â€ť That sums things up quite well.
America needs a new direction and leadership that will offer practical solutions. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a plan to restore prosperity for all Americansâ€”in this generation and the next. They will implement policies which will grow our economy and create the good, well-paying jobs that Americans deserve. They will cut spending in order to reduce the deficit. They will reform programs like Medicare so that we can preserve it for current seniors but also save it for their children and grandchildren. Ultimately, they believe that our rights come from God, not government, and they place their faith accordingly. They trust in God and our fellow citizens, not bureaucracy.
The fact is, our nation canâ€”and mustâ€”do so much better. And under Governor Romney and Congressman Ryanâ€™s proven leadership, we will.
[Editor's note: This article was written by Ashley Bell who is a County Commissioner (GA), member of Democrats for Romney and the Romney for President Black Leadership Council.]