The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Why Aren’t We Better Off, Mr. Romney?

Last Thursday night, I sat down to watch Mitt Romney’s Republican nomination acceptance speech.  I expected to be bombarded with more inaccuracies than I ended up receiving.  One thing, however, stuck out in its ridiculousness.  It was a statement, but in reality was being posed as a question.

“Are we better off than we were four years ago?”

Quite simply, the answer is yes, but that’s not what needs to be discussed right now.  That question will be rehashed from now until Election Day on Nov. 6.

The real issue at hand here is that the Republican presidential candidate got up on stage, spent exactly 37 minutes and 19 seconds speaking (don’t worry, I counted) and failed to give any sort of reasoning for why America isn’t better off than it was four years ago or what a Romney presidency could do to change that.

When Ronald Reagan made his statement of “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” at the end of his debate with President Carter during the 1980 Presidential race, he was making a statement toward the then President’s handling of current issues as well as towards the overall direction the country was heading in during the preceding decade.  This is not the case in 2012.

Is every aspect of the United States in a better place than it was when George W. Bush was leaving the White House? Absolutely not, but to place the blame on a President who inherited a giant financial mess is irresponsible to both the American people as well as the accurate preservation of history.
The situation Obama is currently dealing with is largely beyond his control and that right there is where the similarities with the Carter presidency end.  Obama inherited a situation that was formed largely due to policies under the Bush administration including two military conflicts and tax cuts for the wealthiest of Americans.

The President found himself needing to rescue an auto industry that was falling fast, which he did the tune of $80 billion.  He went after the dire need for health care reform and was forced to compromise with a party that refused to offer better solutions — and then refused to vote with him anyway
When you look at the track record of the Republican party, they took a budget surplus at the turn of the century, destroyed it, ran up trillions of dollars of debt and then turned around and tried to blame the man who had half the time to fix a mess that took two terms to create.  Did I mention that Barack Obama has increased spending less than any president since Eisenhower?

Whether the country is truly better off now than it was four years ago, the only sure fire thing that should be avoided is a return to the same policies that resulted in this mess in the first place.  The politicians who say otherwise are lying straight to the faces of the American people.
If Mr. Romney wants to hold the highest office in the United States of America, he better be ready to admit his party’s failures and offer an actual solution to fix them. For now, it doesn’t seem like there’s too much space for that on his agenda.

He won’t even answer his own questions.

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About the Contributor
Kieran Lynch, Editor-in-Chief
Contact: [email protected]. Two years ago, when I was the Sports Editor, Kieran was the first person to express interest in writing sports for the Torch. He’s been taking initiative like that ever since. Since that time, he’s blossomed, first as a sports writer, then doing double duty as the men’s basketball team’s beat writer and the Features Editor. In that time, Kieran has proven to be a top-notch reporter, writer and editor, and has shown a willingness to go above and beyond what’s expected of him. He has everything needed to be a great Editor-in-Chief, and as pressing issues at the University demand serious coverage, I couldn’t be leaving the Torch in safer hands. -Mike Cunniff Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus
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