by Monte Solberg
The United States is ailing and you know what that means. When the Americans get sick, Canada inevitably ends up with a severe gastro-intestinal thing that really lingers.
You’ve heard the numbers. Twenty-five million Americans are out of work and
47 million are on food stamps. The debt is at $16 trillion, double what it was four years ago.
But it’s not just the size of the debt, it’s who they owe it to — the Chinese. That’s why it’s a bit rich to hear U.S. senators getting all outraged at the prospect of a Chinese state-owned enterprise buying Nexen, a second-tier player in the oilsands.
If the honourable gentlemen from Alabama or Oklahoma were truly concerned about Chinese influence in the North American economy, they would blanch at seeing their country go cap in hand to Beijing every month hoping they’ll buy more U.S. Treasuries. It would make more sense for Canadian legislators to worry about the U.S. falling under the control of the Chinese government.
And there’s the Keystone XL Pipeline and the new bridge at Windsor. Obviously Canada has a big interest in how the election turns out. We have lots of skin in the game and more than a few vital organs in there, too. Two-thirds of everything we export still goes to our American neighbours.
If the right decisions get made in the U.S. it means substantially more jobs and prosperity for Canada.
So what should we hope for in the U.S. election?
We should hope for the election of Mitt Romney, but not for the reasons you might suspect. The truth is, Barack Obama cannot be blamed for all the economic woes in the U.S.
Successive presidents and Congresses brought in legislation that led to the housing bubble that cratered the
It’s also true that the most successful president in the last 20 years has probably been Bill Clinton. But he didn’t start out that way. He polarized America and Congress when he tried to push through health-care reform led by his wife, Hillary Clinton.
It was only when he tacked to the right and worked with the Republicans that he got some things done. Notably he signed welfare reform, a Republican initiative. He also worked across the aisle to bring in NAFTA and balance the budget.
Barack Obama also began his term polarizing Americans and Congress on health-care reform and he hasn’t recovered since. He hasn’t been able to pass a budget in three years, but the economic problems Americans face are immense and can only be tackled with the help of Congress.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama is probably the most liberal president in U.S. history, in a country where two-thirds of the population self-identifies as conservatives. He is unlikely to ever get the bi-partisan support necessary to get America back on its feet.
As a Republican governor in liberal Massachusetts, Mitt Romney worked across the aisle to balance the budget and, ironically, to bring in health-care reform.
America needs a president who can work across party lines.
America needs Mitt Romney in the White House.
Categories: Contributor Columns