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Press Release - Four Years Later: A Weaker Middle Class

August 02, 2012

"President Obama just can't seem to get things right or improve the economy for middle-class Americans. After three and a half years, his disappointing record is clear: energy prices are up, young Americans are struggling, our trade policies aren't working, deficits have soared, and small business owners are being over-taxed, over-regulated, and personally denigrated. The American people deserve better — they deserve a president who won't let them down." — Amanda Henneberg, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

ENERGY — President Obama's Policies Have Hampered Domestic Production And Blocked Job Creation:

President Obama's Regulations Will "Effectively Prohibit New Coal-Fired Power Plants." "President Barack Obama's proposed emission rules for power plants effectively prohibit new coal- fired power plants, buttressing the nation's shift away from a power source that fueled the Industrial Revolution to cheap natural gas." (Mark Drajem, "Obama Power-Plant Rule Signals Demise Of 'Old King Coal,'" Bloomberg, 3/28/12)

  • More Than 100 Coal Power Plants Are Expected To Have Shut Down By The End Of President Obama's First Term. "But in the past two years, an increasing number of coal-powered electricity plants across the country have announced closures. Estimates vary, but banking and industry analysis firm Credit Suisse put expected and known closures for 2009-2012 at 111 plants, that's one-fifth of the nation's nearly 500 coal plants." (Lisa Desjardins, "The War Over Coal Is Personal," CNN, 7/17/12)

Oil Production On Federal Lands Dropped 14 Percent In 2011. "In 2010, EIA data show, 726 million barrels of oil came from federal lands, including offshore wells. In 2011, it was 626. That's a drop of 13.77 percent, which can be rounded to 14 percent." ("Rob Portman Says Oil Production On Public Lands Was Down 14 Percent In 2011," PolitiFact, 4/2/12)

President Obama Continues To "Stand In The Way Of The Keystone XL Pipeline," Which Will Help Create Thousands Of American Jobs. "President Obama continues to stand in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline, though increasingly he's standing alone. ... Big Labor and Western Governors such as Montana Democrat Brian Schweitzer support the Keystone for the thousands of jobs it will create, which is adding to the pressure on Capitol Hill Democrats." (Editorial, "Democrats For Keystone," The Wall Street Journal, 4/20/12)

Under President Obama, The Price For A Gallon Of Regular Gasoline Has Increased From $1.85 To $3.51. (Energy Information Administration, Accessed 8/1/12)

EDUCATION — Under President Obama, Students Are Struggling With Record Debt, Higher Tuition, And An Anemic Jobs Market:

Since President Obama Took Office, The Average Cost Of College Has Increased By 25% At Four-Year Public Schools Across The Country. ("Trends In College Pricing," College Board, 2011)

Student Loan Debt Has Surpassed $1 Trillion — "Far Higher Than Earlier Estimates." "The amount Americans owe on student loans is far higher than earlier estimates and could lead some consumers to postpone buying homes, potentially slowing the housing recovery, U.S. officials said Wednesday. Total student debt outstanding appears to have surpassed $1 trillion late last year, said officials at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency created in the wake of the financial crisis." (Josh Mitchell and Maya Jackson-Randall, "Student-Loan Debt Tops $1 Trillion," The Wall Street Journal, 3/22/12)

"More Of Today's Twenty- And-Thirty-Somethings Are Living With Their Parents Than In Generations Before Them." (Rosa Ramirez, "Study: More Young Adults Living With Parents," National Journal, 8/1/12)

Last Year, Over Half Of Recent Graduates Were "Jobless Or Underemployed, The Highest Share In At Least 11 Years." "About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years. In 2000, the share was at a low of 41 percent, before the dot-com bust erased job gains for college graduates in the telecommunications and IT fields." (Hope Yen, "1 In 2 New Graduates Are Jobless Or Underemployed," The Associated Press, 4/22/12)

TRADE — President Obama's Policies Have Left American Workers And Businesses At A Competitive Disadvantage:

The Obama Administration Has Repeatedly "Declined To Brand China A Currency Manipulator." "The U.S. declined to brand China a currency manipulator, while asking the world's second-largest economy to strengthen the 'significantly undervalued' yuan. In its semi-annual report to Congress on exchange-rate policies, the Treasury Department said yesterday that it will continue to 'closely monitor' the pace of yuan appreciation and push for 'policy changes that yield greater exchange-rate flexibility.'" (Cheyenne Hopkins and Ian Katz, "Obama Shunning China Yuan Manipulator Tag Gets Romney Ire," Bloomberg, 5/25/12)

Both Republicans And Democrats Have Urged President Obama To Label China As A Currency Manipulator. "The Treasury Department on Friday once again declined to name China a currency manipulator despite bipartisan calls for action from Congress." (Julian Pecquet, "Treasury: China Not Manipulating Currency," The Hill, 5/25/12)

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY): "The Administration Continues To Let China Get Away With Flouting Trade Rules..." "Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has been sponsored legislation that would punish Chinese imports for the undervalued currency, also criticized the administration's report. 'The administration continues to let China get away with flouting trade rules just for the sake of diplomacy. Calling out China as a manipulator may be awkward, but it is time to take off the kid glove,' he said in a statement." (Julian Pecquet, "Treasury: China Not Manipulating Currency," The Hill, 5/25/12)

DEFICITS & DEBT — President Obama's Reckless Spending Led To Trillions In Added Debt And Record-Level Deficits:

Under President Obama, The National Debt Has Increased By More Than $5.3 Trillion — $16,000 In New Debt For Every American. (U.S. Department Of The Treasury, 8/1/12)

  • "It's The Most Rapid Increase In The Debt Under Any U.S. President." "The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama's watch. The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president." (Mark Knoller, "National Debt Has Increased $4 Trillion Under Obama," CBS News, 8/22/11)

Under President Obama, America Is Facing Its Fourth Consecutive Year Of Trillion-Dollar Budget Deficits. "The latest budget figures from the White House predict this year's federal budget deficit will end up at $1.2 trillion. That would make the fourth consecutive year of trillion dollar-plus deficits during President Obama's administration." (Andrew Taylor, "Administration Projects $1.2T 2012 Budget Deficit," The Associated Press, 7/27/12)

  • President Obama Shattered His Pledge To Cut The Deficit In Half In His First Term. "The 2013 budget the president submitted today does not come close to meeting this promise of being reduced to $650 billion for fiscal year 2013. The president noted in that 2009 speech the Obama administration inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. The deficit was similarly $1.3 trillion in 2011, is projected to be $1.15 trillion in 2012, and the president's budget claims it will be $901 billion in 2013." (Jake Tapper, "Obama's Broken Deficit Promise," ABC News, 2/13/12)

SMALL BUSINESS — President Obama Continues To Push Policies That Are Hostile To Job Creators:

A Study Released By The National Federation Of Independent Business Found That President Obama's Tax Hikes Would Subject 2.1 Million Business Owners To Higher Taxes And Jeopardize 710,000 Jobs. "Researchers determined the plan would actually subject 2.1 million business owners to higher rates; specifically, those who pay pass-through taxes, like most partnerships, LLCs and S-Corporations. The result, less capital in the hands of business owners and diminished labor supply, would cost the United States an estimated $200 billion in economic output and 710,000 jobs." (J.D. Harrison, "Obama Plan To Lift Top Tax Rates Would Plague Millions Of Small Businesses, Study Warns," The Washington Post, 7/17/12)

According To The Small Business And Entrepreneurship Council, "Business Owners Remain On Edge Regarding The Tidal Wave Of Federal Government Regulation." "'Business owners remain on edge regarding the tidal wave of federal government regulation that has been advanced or proposed over the past two years. ... The pain of the harsh recession was intensified and lengthened by this hyper-regulatory environment,' Karen Kerrigan, president of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, wrote in a Jan. 12 letter to Issa."  (Philip Rucker and David S. Hilzenrath, "GOP Eyes Rules That Firms Say Hurt Jobs," The Washington Post, 2/7/11)

President Obama "Has Pressed Forward On Hundreds Of New Mandates, While Also Stepping Up Enforcement Of Rules" In "A New Age Of Regulation." "Over the last year, the Obama administration has pressed forward on hundreds of new mandates, while also stepping up enforcement of rules by increasing the ranks of inspectors and imposing higher fines for violations. A new age of regulation is well under way in Washington ..." (Eric Lipton, "With Obama, Regulations Are Back In Fashion," The New York Times, 5/12/10)

Mitt Romney, Press Release - Four Years Later: A Weaker Middle Class Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/302300

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