The question for 2012 is NOT "Are you better off now?" The fact is that 4 years ago, our world was getting turned upside-down by the unprecedented request for TARP, aka, the bank bailouts. Government, and the economy has never been the same. The Obama campaign, enlisted the slickest political salesman they could to push "The dog ate my homework" excuse, have explained that in their view, nobody could have gotten us out of the hole.
They blame President Bush as the sole author of the 2008 meltdown, even though the Democrats ran Congress since Jan 2007, and in fact under Democrat Speaker Nancy Pelosi, we lost 7 million jobs; even though the housing bubble was co-created by a Fed blowing bubbles of easy money on the tinder of policies such as CRA started and endorsed by Democrats to get more and more people owning homes. In a crisis this large, both parties were to blame, but the policies that drove us into the ditch were Democrat policies that tried to give people something they could not afford. Pandering, bailouts, and giveaways got us into the ditch. And now, 4 years on into the Obama depression, pandering, bailouts and giveaways have failed to get us out.
Even though Democrats wrote the 2009 budgets, TARP, stimulus, and had Obama sign all of that, Obama is now even claiming that the deficit is 90% Bush's fault. One can understand now how Obama would promise to cut the deficit in half and then deliver a deficit that is more than a trillion dollars four years running. He is simply innumerate.
Romney should be holding Obama's feet to the fire on all of this. Yes, President Obama raised taxes. There are 20 tax increases in Obamacare, 7 tax hikes hit those earning under $250,000. So, yes, it was a mistake for Romney to say Obama hasn't raised taxes - yes, he did. But Romney was attempting to talk about the more important question: What will happen in the next 4 years? After all the future is more important than the past.
We cannot undo the $6 trillion Obama has added to the debt. But Obama's plan to add $10 trillion more can be fixed. That is what the Ryan roadmap is all about.
We have 8% unemployment and slowest growth and WORST economic recovery in 75 years. Obama's mismanagement has increased our debt more than any other President. but simply pointing this out is apparently not enough. We need to tie it to the future, and ask:
Who Can Fix Our Broken Economy?
We cannot undo the lousy economic record of Obama and his unemployment of 8%. But we can ask: What is Obama's plan? What new things does he have to offer beyond the failed policies of the last 4 years? Just more of the same? Obama has NO PLAN to create jobs, nothing new but more of the same lies and broken promises. Obama's record is the worst jobs record in our lifetimes and he keeps proposing tax increases that hurt jobs and the economy. How does that help everyday Americans?
Obama has slipped into blatant lies about the numbers, using "$5 trillion" when not a single economist in the world well tell you that hiking taxes on the rich will give us $5 trillion. But Obama needs that phony number to escape the dual question of : How does higher taxes fix our broken economy? How does more taxes and more spending fix our broken economy?
Anyone reading, go ahead and challenge your favorite Obama-bot and ask them: Name ONE new idea Obama has to fix the economy and create jobs? He has a big heap o' nothing, which explains the Obama real strategy: Attack Romney unmercifully, get the base excited by a serious of panders, and repeat the promises made and broken in the last 4 years and do enough of the celeb stuff to respark the magic of 2008.
The Obama bubble will burst if voters contemplate the questions: Is our economy and our budget fixed or broken? Did Obama fix the economy in his first 4 years? And if he didnt, who is better suited to fix it now? The new guy or the guy who's already failed?"
This question - Who Can Fix Our Broken Economy? - not the "Are you better off?" question - is the question Mitt Romney should be asking in the first debate.
After all, he has already got his answer: "The difference between me and President Obama is I know what to do, and I will do what it takes to get this economy going."