President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney both admit that jobs and the economy are the most important issues in 2012 (Photo courtesy

Obama and Romney: Focus on Jobs and the Economy


As the presidential election battle heats up, there are a number of issues that require review by all interested parties. 

With voting rights being challenged in key states, both parties are making every effort to ensure that every eligible voter casts a ballot for their candidates. 

In addition to the election process, it is important to have an idea about the opposing views on the issues that affect the lives of the voting public. Chief among them are jobs and the economy.   

Both candidates stress that their campaigns are focused on job creation and energy independence because they represent the infrastructure of the nation’s economic recovery.   While both parties agree that the creation of jobs is a priority, the candidates have a different view on how to achieve this and to reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy.

            President Barack Obama highlights that his economic platform has created jobs and boosted the economy in strategic industries although “more work needs to be done.”  Despite misleading statements claiming that the current administration has made a bad situation worse, the truth is that President Obama inherited an extremely bad situation and – within the last two years – created approximately 2.8 million jobs with the unemployment rate at around eight percent.

The flurry of acts that have been generated with job creation as the mindset resemble President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s alphabet soup of initiatives during his “New Deal” era to get the nation back on track following the Great Depression.  

Despite being the leader who successfully brought down Osama Bin Laden, President Obama’s popularity has suffered due to the slow economic rally and continued job loss.  

According to the Washington Post, President Obama views the government as the catalyst for economic growth, a safety net for the neediest and a safeguard for the environment.  In addition to his efforts geared towards renewable energy including wind and solar power, he envisions more government spending on education, innovation and infrastructure improvements.

Governor Mitt Romney’s five point plan encompasses tax cuts for corporations and promising 12 million jobs in four years while keeping spending at 20 percent of the gross domestic product.

Governor Romney’s view on government shifts the responsibility from the federal government to state capitals.  He envisions a smaller government with less spending. However, there is no clear plan regarding how this would be achieved.

While avoiding social issues such as abortion or immigration that specifically impact women and Hispanics, the Romney/Ryan ticket is focused on repealing the American Affordable Healthcare Act, which is mislabeled “Obamacare.” 

While there is no definite platform to address the nation’s health care problems, Romney’s vow to begin the repeal of the Affordable Health Care Act is interesting since the Act models the program that he championed as governor of Massachusetts. 

Many argue that Romney continues to emphasize language that resembles the failed “trickle down” plan during the Reagan administration. 

The increasing polarization between the two candidates warrants extensive review of the major issues. However, both candidates do agree that the economy is a major concern.

Regarding the role of government, with voter ID battles taking place in many key states with no centralized process and clearly racial overtones involved, increasing states rights in the allocation of funds and services without federal oversight is a daunting concept.

Regarding the reduction of spending to bring down the enormous deficit, government expenditures are allocated through programs and services.  While campaign promises look good on paper, it is important to understand the full impact of the words on your pocket. 

Listen carefully, ask informatively and vote wisely.

Mereday is a contributing writer for Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.

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