A Stark Choice

Once upon a time, the complaint lodged by voters--or, quite often, by those who opted to be non-voters--was that "there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans anyway."

That proverbial dime has since inflated. The numbers now are in the hundreds of billions and trillions of dollars. The ranks of conservative and moderate Democrats in the U.S. Congress have dwindled. Barack Obama has steered our nation far to the left, empowering the progressive base to implement its vision of America.

For instance, the stimulus bill represented a $787 billion difference between the left and the right. We were told that much of that money would go towards clean and efficient energy. Instead, ignoring warnings of excessive risk, literally billions of cash were doled out to firms headed by big Obama donors, whose companies went into bankruptcy. Depending on whether one is counted jobs created or jobs created and "saved", each job cost the taxpayers anywhere from $287,000 to $4 million.

The Affordable Care Act, known more widely as Obamacare, currently represents a difference of $500 billion between the left and the right. That's the amount of taxes (which is what the Supreme Court declared them to be and the Obama Administration quietly argued that they were) which will be levied through the continued implementation and mandates of the act.

It is hard to put a dollar figure on the impact excessive EPA and other regulations have put on the economy. Left-wing environmentalist-driven energy policies have led to high energy costs, which have been passed on to the consumer. Aggressive EPA actions against coal mines have left many unemployed, as one of our nation's most abundant energy resources is under assault.

Simply put, we have seen precisely the model that Barack Obama and the progressive power base of his party have already implemented. The results are that the economy is stalled in the doldrums, with GDP growth estimated at 2% or below. Over 23 million people are still out of work. Household incomes are down over 4% since the president took office in 2009. While the president did a virtual victory lap when Navy Seals captured and killed Osama bin Laden, he will not even discuss what his role was in failing to respond to continued requests for more security in Libya and in failing to protect American personnel who perished at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. His claims to have Al Queda diminished and on the run have been belied by the terror group's strong presence in Libya, Northern Africa and other parts of the Middle East.

The choice facing this country on November 6 could not be more stark. On the one hand, the President wants to continue to govern under the conservative principles that business and job-creators are suspect, and that the government needs to keep imposing more regulations. Regardless of how he has tried to spin it, this president truly believes that those who have succeeded with their businesses large and small "didn't build them." The proof is in the way he treats them as an ATM for wealth redistribution and expanded government programs, binding them in red tape, mandates and regulations.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represent a sea change from the course we are on as a nation. They believe that the tax burden on all Americans is too high, and the level of spending in this country is too high. Having been very successful in the business world for over two decades and been directly involved in the turnaround of companies, the state of Massachusetts and the Olympics, Romney has a far better grasp of how business and the economy works.

A vote for Barack Obama is a vote for more of the same. It is a vote for tax increases, expanded government programs and, at the same time, the decimation of the one role the constitution has clearly handed the president and the federal government--which is to protect its citizens from enemies foreign and domestic. His progressive mindset is predictable--he is for major cuts to the U.S. military, higher taxes, more spending.

A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for tax relief, spending cuts, a strong military and relief for businesses who have been nearly strangled by excessive regulation.

It has been said that this could well be the most important election in modern American history. I agree. With $16 trillion in debt and deficits currently running at $1 trillion a year to add to the debt, there is no room for error in charting what course our nation takes into the future.

This time, there is more than "a dime's worth of difference" between the presidential candidates. The difference can be measured in the trillions.

On November 6, our nation faces a stark choice, indeed.

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

2 days 6 hours ago

The KLPW Radio Athlete of the Week is Senior Taylor Covington with the New Haven Track and Field Team. Taylor earned All-State honors medaling in four events at the state track meet at Lincoln University in Jefferson City Friday and Saturday. She ran anchor on the 4X800 relay team that finished in sixth place.

OFF THE CUFF with Diane Jones

1 week 1 hour ago

Commencement, it is said, is a beginning. Yet graduations are also the end of an era--for students and their parents. For the kids, it's a time of excitement and promise. For parents, it's a bit more bittersweet.

What will the future hold for the Class of 2015? Time will tell.

My youngest has now graduated from high school. Back in 1980, I was the youngest of my family who graduated.

OFF THE CUFF ARCHIVE

SPORTS CORNER

3 hours 45 min ago

The Cardinals are off today before the Dodgers come to town for the start of a three-game series tomorrow night. John Lackey will start the opener for St. Louis. He's 2-and-3 with a 3.18 ERA. Los Angeles sends Mike Bolsinger to the mound. He's 3-and-0 with a 0.71 ERA.