The last U.S. president to attempt transformative social change on the scale attempted by President Barack Obama was Lyndon B. Johnson, who in 1964 launched his Great Society.
Times were different then. At the end of Johnson's term, the national debt stood at just $353 billion, representing an annual growth rate during the five-plus years of Johnson's presidency of just over three percent. The nation's debts then were under control.
Fair or not, the debt monster since then has grown unimaginably, forcing its harsh reality into every new discussion about federal spending.
Not counting long-term unfunded liabilities tied to Social Security and to many of those Johnson-era programs, the nation is more than $16 trillion in real-time debt, one of the greatest financial-debt burdens in modern history.
Our belief that Republican Mitt Romney should be elected the 45th president of the United States is anchored in that tough reality.
We believe the nation's best opportunity to escape the compounding woes of spiraling debt and economic stagnation lies with a president who believes in the free market's capacity to heal its own wounds.
That leader is Romney. The nation's economy now is in desperate need of the kind of jobs-creating animal spirits that President Romney would encourage. . .
We cannot say the same of President Obama. . .
The president's proposals for a second administration project scant hope that the economy will do much more than stumble forward at the current, anemic, sub-two-percent rate of growth. The 23 million Americans either unemployed, scraping by in part-time, low-paid jobs or not looking for work anymore need to see a commitment to revival. And, simply put, Obama isn't offering them much. Not in his vision of the future as illustrated in debates thus far. And certainly not in the record of his first term as president.
The reason Obama's infamous "You didn't build that" comment on July 13 in Roanoke, Va., resonated among his political opponents wasn't because it revealed some great secret.
It resonated because it validated a suspicion that the president has done little to dismiss. He has consolidated federal power and reach in health care, banking, the auto industry and energy production. He has fostered the view that all good economic things flow from Washington. . .
The Arizona Republic recommends Mitt Romney for president of the United States.