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Mitt Romney: ‘What we feared would happen is happening’

Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican candidate for president, spoke last week at a fundraiser for the state Republican Party in Wolfeboro. Here’s what he said:

Just look at the economy and jobs picture. We have had five years of economic stagnation. It is inexcusable. If anyone ever needed proof that liberal economics don’t work, these last five years are it. Heartbreaking unemployment with millions having dropped out of the workforce, middle-class families squeezed to the breaking point, far too many of the new jobs are part time and low pay, a growing gap between the wealthy and those who are not, and record numbers rushing into disability and other forms of government assistance.

If your intent was to slow growth of the economy and delay recovery, these are the very things you would have done: raise taxes, impose the highest corporate taxes in the world, layer on massive regulations, tilt the playing field sharply toward unions, slow-walk energy development, impose a complex and expensive health-care code, stumble into an unguided spending sequester, and pile more debt upon the mountain of debt we already have.

How about the Federal Reserve? The Federal Reserve is not under the Administration’s management, of course. I believe that it is doing what it thinks it must to prevent an even bleaker picture by enabling more government debt and by keeping interest rates near zero. But even if it one believes that it is helping the current economy, it comes at a dear price that will be paid by the economy, and by the middle class families, in the future.

I must admit. It has been hard to watch or read the news. What we feared would happen is happening.

The developments in foreign affairs are not much better, although there are a few recent hopeful developments.

Syria is a tragedy. It could have been a victory, for it’s people, for freedom, for America. Our leading from behind meant no real leadership, and into the vacuum rushed al-Qaida on one front, and Russia on the other. Tens of thousands of human beings have been slaughtered, and Iran’s hand there may well become stronger than ever.

Egypt is in turmoil.

Nuclear proliferation and the potential for nuclear terror have advanced, not retreated. Iran accelerates its enrichment, North Korea exports its nuclear technology, Pakistan adds nukes to the more than hundred it already has. Russia modernizes its nuclear arsenal and basks in the huge lead it has in its total nuclear arsenal of strategic and tactical nuclear weapons. And we, we shrink our nuclear force and cut back on our missile defenses.

I mentioned that there is a bright spot. I hope that Secretary of State (John) Kerry’s effort to bring peace to the Middle East is a success. He is to be commended for making an effort, particularly after so many years without one having been made.

Several weeks ago, I invited a number of leaders from business, government and philanthropy to join me in a conference. Most of them had been fundraisers for my campaign, so it was far from a representative cross section of the nation. That being said, I asked them to rank each of the challenges and opportunities they felt that faced the nation.

I’ve also spoken with families across the economic spectrum and across the country. I’ve asked them what they think are the country’s major problems. Interestingly, what I hear is very much the same.

First, they felt that the deficit and the debt were our greatest challenge. Like people across the country, they fear where the excess is leading – to Greece, to the troubled nations of Europe, to Detroit?

The deficits have added up to national debt of almost $17 trillion – more than the size of the GDP. Debt held by the public is over 70 percent of that. If and when interest rates return to the historic levels of the last several decades, the interest expense will be about $750 billion a year—that’s more than the budget for national defense or for Medicare. We and our children will be working and

paying taxes in the future to pay the interest on the debt of the past. It is generational immorality.

Second, they were concerned that our businesses
. . . are becoming less and less competitive with those of other countries.

Almost everyone sees that our private sector lead is eroding. China’s GDP is on track to pass ours in 15 to 20 years. India is far behind China, but gaining. Russia’s massive energy resources will re-ignite their national wealth.

A decade ago, the conventional wisdom was that the American model of free enterprise and personal freedom was the only path to prosperity; today, a growing number of nations are impressed with China’s model of state capitalism. That model has already allowed China to manipulate its currency so as to move manufacturing from the West to the East. And it is may be highly advantageous in a setting where natural resources are in short supply, as they are predicted to increasingly be.

The world population will grow by 1.2 billion people by 2025, from 6.8 billion today, to 8 billion in only 12 years. Key minerals, energy, and water will be in short supply.

China, Inc. is using its balance sheet to lock up those strategic resources. Our relatively tiny private enterprises watch with concern but hope that the free market will be large enough for their needs, at least until the current executives retire and cash in their options.

Their third greatest concern was education. Education starts in the home, where two parents can invest their time and resources in their children. But two-parent families are in decline, in some part due to government policies. Education in our schools is falling behind competing nations, and college education has become prohibitively expensive. With so much at stake, it is dispiriting in the extreme to see education policy bow to the parochial interests of the teachers unions and the tenured faculty, rather than to the interests of humanity and of the nation.

On these and on all of the group’s top five concerns, the administration has made things worse, not better. It is enough to make some people simply throw in the towel. . . .

I do have some advice for us as a party. I know, I lost. I’m probably not the first person you’d ask for advice. But because we all learn from our mistakes, I may have a thought or two of value.

Mine is this: We have got to stay smart, very smart. Our policies have to be the smartest, the best, the most promising. We cannot change policy to follow popularity; in the end, right prevails. We can change policy if new information shows us that we were wrong – of course, that’s part of staying smart.

Our party leaders have to stay smart as well. New Hampshire benefitted from one of the smartest governors and party chairmen ever, John Sununu. At the national level, the RNC is taking steps to put our voter contact and get-out-the-vote technology in the lead. It has tapped the know-how of some of the best minds in the country. . . .

Staying smart also means backing candidates that can win. . . . It is always tempting to cast an emotional vote, a protest vote, an anger vote, a single-issue vote. Maybe if this weren’t such a critical time for the country, that would be excusable. But not today, and not now. No amount of pique can make up for being in any way complicit for the liberal policies that add to our debt, make us less competitive, and fail in educating the next generation.

Emotion is understandably at play in Washington among some of our fellow Republicans. I badly want Obamacare to go away, and stripping it of funds has appeal. But we need to exercise great care about any talk of shutting down government. What would come next? What would come next when soldiers aren’t paid, when seniors fear for their Medicare and Social Security, and when the FBI is off duty? I’m afraid that in the final analysis, Obamacare would get its funding, our party would suffer in the next elections, and the people of the nation would not be happy. I think there are better ways to remove Obamacare. And we should work to replace it with health care reforms that actually lower costs and give patients – not government – control over their own health care.

As the first-in-the-nation, you will have a big role in choosing our next nominee for president. My guess is that every one of the contenders would be better than whoever the Democrats put up. But there will only be one or perhaps two who actually could win the election in November. Think it through. Stay smart. Get behind those candidates – volunteer for them, campaign for them, vote for them. It is long past time for real change in Washington.

Legacy Comments18

HillaryGate ....SHE LIED - Attorney for Whistleblower: 400 U.S. Missiles Stolen in Benghazi....400 U.S. missiles were "diverted to Libya" and ended up being stolen and falling into "the hands of some very ugly people."

It's interesting to see when people refer to other people as NOT who BUT that of that's, reference: "Staying smart also means backing candidates that can win. " of actually not per the who of like their name, but that of their title; plus: " , a growing gap between the wealthy and those who are not, " and " How about the Federal Reserve? The Federal Reserve is not under the Administration’s management, of course. I believe that it is doing what it thinks it must to prevent an even bleaker picture by enabling more government debt and by keeping interest rates near zero " . Of my reply to that of The Fed is Papa Bank for their member banks that must/ shall play by the rules, being the statutes in which state they do operate in, and in N.H. us employees are entitled to get paid in coin, not from a check is an order to pay to have to take a note or notes that are promises to pay, of future-tense instruments. Of The Fed has gold bars that they can sell to buy the U.S. Mint Silver dollars that they are supposed to pay us here in N.H. when we claim our rights by RSA Ch. 275:43 of to collect our pay in "lawful money" by the in-direct through the checks, of which if the directors of the banks don't pay up, to put them into involuntary bankruptcy as in N.H. we "consent"ted to The Coinage Act of 1792, not the one for debased coins of commerce in 1965 of we get those at the coin shop when we do the exchange.

Is Mitt really in touch with the normal world? Is he actually implying that he (or anyone) could have turned around the second worst recession/depression in US history in just a couple years. I say a couple because he may not have noticed that almost every indicator is heading in the right direction. Shipping jobs outside the country is/was one of the biggest contributors to this poor economy and Mitt was right there burning this county for his personal gain. He is one of the last people that should be pointing fingers at others saying "middle-class families squeezed to the breaking point, far too many of the new jobs are part time and low pay, a growing gap between the wealthy and those who are not". Again he led the way in those areas. An "unguided spending sequester", he even throws his own party under the bus. They have Romneycare in Mass, and now he is dead set against Obamacare which was based on his program???.......I will agree on this point "at least until the current executives retire and cash in their options", like himself as long as they can get theirs - that's the only thing that matters.

You're right. Mitt wanted to "gift" the rich with capital gains tax of 0%. Of course this would cut Mitt's taxes to 0. Bush Jr cut taxes for the rich like Meg Whitman billionaire (HP CEO who cut 28,000 jobs to outsource) saying it would create jobs. Lol. But Bush Jr. took a 4.1% unempl rate and drove it up to 8.1% (left office Jan, 2009). Cutting capital gains to 0% would have created a permanent rich aristocracy that would then control government (ie. Mitt said "Corporations are people"). Mitt is still exhibiting the same behavior he did during the campaign - that he is disconnected from the normal world.

That statement is simply NOT true

Yes Jim, it could have been turned around. Here is how it could have been done. Obamacare could have been never passed. It is regressive when I comes to business growth. We could have opened more land to oil production, requiring that energy remained in the U.S. and that would have really stimulated the economy. The 4000+ regulations put into effect by the Obama administration never should have happened. The stimulus should have never happened, it was simply a payback to unions and Democrat supporters. We can see this in funding companies like Solyndra and a host of other green job scams. It is the policies of the sitting president which have extended and lengthened this recession. That is the absolute truth.

"Absolute truth?" Your post is as fact-free as any you've ever posted. There is no data from the real world to support your assertions. If Obama were to somehow mandate or get Congress to pass a law requiring that domestic oil remain in the U.S.--you'd be the first one screaming about "free markets", dictatorship and nationalized industries. The ACA hasn't yet been implemented, yet it has somehow hurt business growth? The evidence that the stimulus helped ease the recession and reduced its severity is clear. There is NO real world evidence that this administration's policies have lengthened the Great Recession. By contrast, there is lots of evidence that sequestration (thanks--GOP!), for example, has hurt the recovery, and that the GOP has worked hard to slow/stall the recession. If the GOP wants to play more games with the debt ceiling, or try to shut down the government (again), they'll do serious damage to the economy, just as we're finally getting back to pre-2008 level indicators.

Bruce...isn't it interesting how quick james and other Repubs forget that EVERY bill that Pres. Obama proposed to help the middle class and grow the economy, from 2009 to 2013 have been killed by the House Republicans?

You seem to forget it only took two years after the democrats took control of both house and senate in 2006 and subsequently passed legilation mandating that everyone had to be approved for mortgage loans which lead to 'predator lending' the economy collapsed- remember your boy Barney frank and Chris Dodd both retired because of the mess they created, it affected housing,banking,wall street. Wake up, both of the major parties are only interested in acquiring or maintaining their power with little regard for the nation.

Oh please this a broken record that didn't play well when new. It was never mandated that everyone be approved for a mortgage. There were programs to enable borderline people to realize the American dream, that turned out to be poorly instituted. But the bottom line was and is, that Brokers both stock and real estate, Bankers and Wall Street couldn't get enough of this financial paper into the marketplace. Fraud was rampant as to was greed. RS Brokers, Investors, Wall street and banks made billions and raped the economy in the process. The very people that Mitt coveted were the ones that benefited and ruined our economy. Don't place this blame on radical liberals everyone has a bit of blame to share.

Lets face facts. If Romney was president today, with the same economic indicators as we have now, the screams from the left and the media would be at fever pitch. Unemployment was at 4.4% IN 2006...and all we heard was "jobless recovery". And just how does Romney throw his own party under the bus on the sequester? Obama suggested it, and signed it.

In its zeal to "fundamentally remake America" this Administration is killing its patient.

GWTW..you said 'lets face facts', then expressed an opinion. That is a problem I notice on this venue: too many times the writers think their word is fact. Rarely do I see historically correct statements.

LOL...You're right Walter...I misspoke..The media and the left would have nothing but glowing reports about the state of this economy if Romney was President. I dont know what I was thinking.

jim...the 'rich class' has been choking the middle class for about three decades; problem is the rank and file Republicans don't want to admit how badly they have been treated. Ex. the middle class has barely kept pace with inflation, while the top 5% have seen their incomes go up 5% or more each year. And, while James, wants to blame the Democrat for the housing bubble bursting, he should recognize that it was Wall Street that came up with 'mortgage backed securities' and 'collateralized debt obligations', and sold them with mostly C/D rated mortgages as A-rated because a couple were included.

John Kerry...the man who could not defeat GWB, is now tasked with bringing peace to the Middle East. The guy who was tooling around on his beloved boat while Egypt melted down. What could go wrong.

GWTW - and what the heck does your comment have to do with the recovering from the Second Great Republican Depression? Bush Jr. took twice as many vacation days as Obama while our country sunk to 8.1% unempl rate (left office Jan 2009). But that would be a non-sequitor to link that to the economy. Taking vacations days by the president has no connection to what's happening in the economy.

President Barack Obama has spent more time on vacations and golf outings during his presidency than he has spent in meetings on the economy, according to a report released Sunday. The Government Accountability Institute (GAI) combed official records to produce a report on how the president has allocated his time. President Obama has spent 3.6 % of his total work time in economic meetings or briefings of any kind

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