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article imageOp-Ed: What would a Romney presidency look like?

By Mark Morelli     Nov 4, 2012 in Politics
The U.S. election will be held in a few days. What would happen to the country if GOP candidate Mitt Romney is elected president?
It is January 2013. Mitt Romney has just been sworn to office as the 45th president of the United States of America.
He has a daunting task ahead of him. Many problems need to be fixed.
Health Care
As he has reiterated numerous times on the campaign trail Mr. Romney said that his first act would be to abolish the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 or ObamaCare as it is widely known as.
This would be quite an undertaking as he would have to work with and compromise with Congress to completely wipe it out. His challenge would be in the Senate where he would most likely have to deal with a hostile group of Democrats in charge there.
Barring legislative action, his only course of action would be to revamp the complex regulations that are required to fully implement the law.
Therefore, the most likely final outcome would be a watered down version of the law and continuation of a muddled effect on the country. Things would most likely not improve in this area.
Millions of people are unemployed or underemployed. Some people who work part time would prefer full-time work but can't find it.
On November 2, 2012, in its monthly jobs report, the Department of Labor reported that the official unemployment rate was 7.9%. If the same number of people were participating in the labor force as on Jan. 21, 2009 when Barack Obama took office the actual rate would be 10.4%. Many people have stopped looking for work.
Under a President Romney, job growth would probably improve. How much? A lot will depend on the path he choses to take and how the GOP fares in the election. The makeup of the Senate will be the key to success most likely.
However, if he was allowed to and followed a Ronald Reagan type of "pro-growth/limited government" economic model you might expect monthly jobs increases in the range of 400,000 to 500,000 a month instead of the average of about 150,000 jobs a month that we have experienced under President Obama. Within 2 years expect at least 9 million new jobs to be created. That would put a dent in the total number of unemployed which now stands at about 12.3 million people. Note that Mr. Romney claims that he could create 12 million new jobs in his presidency based upon information that his campaign posted online. You can read the complete plan here.
One of the ways that he could improve the situation is to take advantage of trends where job growth is potentially more likely to occur and where he (and not Congress) has control over.
Reducing regulations (and vetoing any potential bills that would increase them) for the energy industry could be his first order of business. Companies that use hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") and horizontal drilling technologies to extract crude oil and natural gas from shale deposits could generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs over the next decade.
The economy in general would benefit as well. Earlier this year Citigroup, Inc. (NYSE: C) published a report, "Energy 2020: North America, the New Middle East?" which suggests that there is a transformation taking place and that a "re-industrialization" of the United States is underway. This change has the potential to create up to 3.3 million new jobs and add 1% to gross domestic product (GDP), one of the most widely used gages of economic performance.
Foreign policy/Defense
This is probably one area where the future direction is not so clear. Mr. Romney has no direct experience in foreign policy or defense. He would need to surround himself with capable people to assist him in this area. One of them might be former Bush Administration Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
However, based upon his management experience he is likely to chose wisely. In his past business endeavors at Bain Capital and also in running the Salt Lake City Olympics, he consistently surrounded himself with competent staff.
The outcome here will probably be a positive one. As a minimum, the serious international issues will be dealt with more proactively than the Obama Administration has addressed them.
Many variables can affect the exact circumstances however. One of the first international problems to deal with would be the Iranian nuclear issue. However, since he has worked well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the past the situation is likely to be dealt with effectively.
Net Effect
So the net effect of a Romney Administration would likely be an improvement in the overall economy and an increase in the number of jobs, some sort of health care reform with Obamacare still hanging on and at least a change in the manner in which foreign policy is handled.
So it remains to be seen whether the rock group The Who was right: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss?".
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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