Since 1948, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has been tracking the national unemployment rate every month. Over the span of the last 64 years, the unemployment rate has been at or above eight percent for just 39 months. Currently, the national unemployment rate is above eight percent. It has sadly remained in this position since February 2009—the last 43 consecutive months. This means that unemployment has been higher longer under President Obama than under any other administration, or at least since the BLS began gauging the numbers. The nation has faced a slew of other troubling economic news. Right now, 46.9 million Americans depend on food stamps. Over fifteen percent of Americans currently live below the poverty line. Our national debt just exceeded $16 trillion. Families’ median net worth has been slashed to its lowest level in twenty years. The United States’ credit rating was just downgraded—for the first time in history. Instead of taking responsibility and addressing the problem, President Obama has spent the entire campaign taking victory laps on behalf of his economic policies, proclaiming, “We’ve tried our plan and it worked.” Because of the anemic results of President Obama’s “wreck-overy,” you might have noticed President Obama’s re-election team has orchestrated a series of distractions. The first distraction entailed pressuring Governor Romney into releasing more tax returns than required by law. The President hoped this distraction would make Governor Romney look secretive and untrustworthy. Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter even asserted the Governor was hiding “a felony.” The second distraction entailed making it well known that Governor Romney’s wife, Ann, rides a horse. Democrats hoped this distraction would depict the Governor’s lifestyle as “out of touch.” The liberal organization MoveOn.org turned the nonissue into a three-state, five-figure ad buy. “Romney seems to think many Americans deserve to be treated worse than a horse,” proclaimed MoveOn.org executive director Justin Ruben. When the horse story was no longer all the rage, Democrats found a new distraction. In August, Vice President Biden told a predominantly African American audience that if elected, Governor Romney would “put y’all back in chains.” Even if the comments were in regard to the economy, as the campaign went on to say, it doesn’t help the Vice President’s argument that unemployment among African Americans now tops 14 percent—four years after the “recovery” began. With all the economic challenges America faces, we deserve better than a campaign filled with deceptions and distractions. The American people deserve better than a President who shifts responsibility to others for what occurred under his watch. Offering half-hearted assurances such as, “the private sector is doing fine,” is not a serious way of addressing our economic challenges. While the President’s campaign may be deceiving our ears, reality has not deceived our eyes. With each passing day, it becomes clearer that the United States needs real leadership. With so many families struggling and too many people out of work, we need a President with private sector experience in creating jobs. We need a President with public sector experience in balancing four budgets, as Governor Romney has. We need a President who will tell us the truth about our economic reality, not hide behind false distractions. We need to elect Governor Mitt Romney the next President of the United States.
Editor’s note: James Hutchison is a 19-year-old student majoring in political science at Eastern University. The Honesdale resident started sending this editor letters for publication about politics, when Hutchison was 10 years old. Letters to the editor and guest commentaries on current affairs are always welcome. YOUTH PERSPECTIVE features letters and commentaries from those identified as under the age 0f 25.