Or ruin it.
Pretty much depends on whose side you’re on.
While there’s a litany of big-ticket issues outside of your wallet to consider, make no bones about it — the economy is the highlight of this election, be it on the spending front, the jobs front, the business front or the investing front.
And while there are plenty of outside factors pressing on each of these issues, how those fronts shake out will largely be affected by who’s sitting in the Oval Office come 2013. To get some idea of who might put the U.S. economy — and investors — in a better place, two of our InvestorPlace experts sound off on each side of the coin: Do you want Mitt Romney, or Barack Obama?
First, a look at the challenger:
With regards to improving the economy, there are plenty of reasons why Mitt Romney deserves your vote.
First, look at Barack Obama’s track record. Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February 2009. The legislation was rushed through Congress at a cost of more than $800 billion. The idea was that all this money would create jobs by investing in various infrastructure projects and giving money to the states to allocate to create jobs. It didn’t work because the money was not actually spent on creating jobs. Much of it was handed to the states with no oversight or accountability. If you visit this website, you can see how painfully wasteful this plan was.
We were repeatedly told that 7 million jobs would be created. Instead, there has been a net loss of 86,000 jobs. The real unemployment number is 14.9%. That translates to 22 million Americans out of work.
This alone proves Obama’s economic policies have failed and failure is no reason to re-elect a president. But let’s keep going.
America is a business in need of a turnaround artist. There’s been a lot of noise in the media about Bain Capital, but the non-partisan research proves Mitt Romney has a solid record. You’ll note that Mitt Romney does not propose to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on wasteful projects that create no jobs. In fact, he says he’ll aim to curtail spending. Romney and Ryan have repeatedly stated that they will get government out of the way, and let people build their businesses.
In a June survey of businesses, 54% weren’t hiring either because they are “concerned about the economy in general” or from “lingering anxiety from the recession.” In other words, businesses are suffering from uncertainty, and they are in two specific areas that Mitt Romney will address:
- They don’t know how Obamacare will affect their costs.
- Obama is over-regulating businesses, making them afraid to put money to work in the event their business is suddenly the target of expensive regulations.
Mitt Romney wants to repeal Obamacare, which would remove uncertainty, which means businesses will be more likely to hire workers. Right now, businesses aren’t sure how much Obamacare is going to cost them — because nobody really understands the law.
With regard to regulatory uncertainty, Mitt Romney says on his website that he will “initiate review and elimination of all Obama-era regulations that unduly burden the economy.” I’ve written before that some $2 trillion of capital is on strike. It sits on the sidelines because investment managers, who only get paid when they actually make money, are too afraid to invest in businesses that might get regulated out of business.
Do you want another four years of a president whose policies have created, and will continue to create, uncertainty for businesses — which will make them reluctant to hire more workers?
Or do you want a proven businessman whose policies will remove uncertainty for businesses, and allow their capital to flow again, to hire more workers?
— Lawrence Meyers
Now, to the president …