EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

November 6, 2012

Editorial: Nation votes to stay a perilous course

“Democracy,” said the great Baltimore journalist H.L. Mencken, “is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

So the people of the United States have decided they want four more years of President Barack Obama in the White House. And that is what they are going to get.

We congratulate the president on his victory over Mitt Romney and, for the sake of our country, we wish him success. But based on the first four years of his administration, there is reason to doubt he is up to the task.

Obama has spent much of the last four years blaming his predecessor, President George W. Bush, for the nation’s economic woes. Obama may have inherited a country toppling into recession. But his own mismanagement has prolonged the malaise. As the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto notes, there’s no one left for Obama to blame but himself.

We are $6 trillion deeper in debt than when Obama took office, with little to show for the expense. Unemployment continues to hover around 8 percent, higher still if one accounts for those who have given up looking for work. Under Obama’s stimulus plan, the jobless rate was supposed to be approaching 5 percent by now.

Businesses can cope with hard times, but they cannot handle uncertainty. Faced with confusion in tax policy and runaway regulation, they will sit on their money — it’s the least risky option.

The lack of clear direction from Washington over the last four years has left our business community fearful and uncertain. Business leaders have been afraid to take the risks needed to expand their companies, launch new ventures and create new jobs.

When Obama cannot persuade Congress to enact his policies on the environment, energy and other matters, he unleashes his regulatory agencies. Americans can expect more job-killing edicts coming from the Environmental Protection Agency and other unelected bureaucracies.

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